M 16 Eagle Nebula Click on photo to return to 'Diffuse Nebulae' Home
M 16 NGC 6611 Eagle Nebula Star Queen Nebula
Other description: Nebula with dust and cluster.
Dreyer description: Cluster, at least 100 stars large & small; = M 16.
Messier 16 is a cluster of young stars which formed about 2 million years ago from the gas and dust which still surrounds them. Brilliant blue stars of this type are much hotter than the Sun and can be up to thirty times more massive. The dark intrusions visible across the face of the nebula are condensations of dusty material which might one day collapse into yet more stars, should they survive the radiation from the bright stars, which is gradually etching them away. Bright red regions of photo-ionised hydrogen such as M16 are usually found in the spiral arms of galaxies and are often associated recent star formation. This example is about 6000 light years distant.
16" F/4.87 Newtonian , ST-8E, CFW8 7/17/02 Temp. = -9 C
Processing; Debloom ( Ron Wodaski ), CCDsharp, Histogram, Stretch, align, color combine, PhotoImpact; Final artifact touchup