The Eagle Nebula (M16) in Serpens
July 2021 - Picture of the Month
I can't quite believe that I've failed to feature an image of this object. The Eagle Nebula (Messier 16) is an imagers' favourite that even those of who are eyeball-oriented astronomers can observe.
I think that Nik's image makes a terrific composition of all that star-forming glory. We have the 'Pillars of Creation' featured in the centre with the 'Stellar Spire' seeming to be projected towards the Eagle's head from the left. Both structures hide newly-formed stars within them.
Buzzing around the Eagle's head are the stars of open cluster NGC 6611, over 500 of them according to Archinal and Hynes. All are young, massive and very luminous. This cluster is responsible for the cavity in the dust cloud that give the Eagle nebula its shape, and illuminated the Pillars.
James Whinfrey - Website Administrator.