Skies By Africa

Images of the Heavens By Eric Africa

M16, the Eagle Nebula

Many showcase objects are visible during the Northern Hemisphere summer. Among them is M16, also known as the Eagle Nebula.

M16 is another emission nebula associated with a star-forming region. It is famous for at least a couple of reasons: first, it is the 16th entry in Charles Messier's famous (at least among astronomers) list of bright deep space objects. Second, it was the subject of a Hubble Space Telescope image, the Pillars of Creation.

M16 may not be around for much longer: astronomers have detected signs of a nearby supernova explosion that occurred in the vicinity of the nebula. It is quite possible that the shockwave from this supernova is on the verge of sweeping through the region of M16, wiping away the nebula and its clouds. So get your views of M16 while it's there! Of course, none of this may be visible to us for at least several thousand years, so don't rush too hard. No pushing and shoving!
Constellation: Sagittarius
When Visible: July - September
Distance: 6,000 - 7,000 Light-years
Date: June 2004
Location: West Chester, Ohio
Exposure Details:
L: 7 x 10 Minutes binned 1x1, shot through the Red filter
R: 3 x 5 Minutes binned 2x2
G: 3 x 5 Minutes binned 2x2
B: 3 x 5 Minutes binned 2x2
Equipment used: Takahashi FS-102 on a Takahashi EM200 Temma-PC mount. SBIG ST-8E camera with 5-position filter wheel and Custom-Scientific filters. Self-guided using camera's built-in guide chip.
Acquisition Software : CCDSoft, TheSky5
Processing Software: CCDSoft, Photoshop 5