Eagle Nebula M16
5 x 1200 seconds + 3 x 900 seconds with 5nm Ha Filter.
Messier 16 is a conspicuous region of active star formation, appearing in the constellation Serpens Cauda. This giant cloud of interstellar gas and dust is commonly known as the Eagle Nebula, and has already created a cluster of young stars. The nebula is also referred to the Star Queen Nebula and as IC 4703; the cluster is NGC 6611
The Eagle Nebula lies some 7,000 light years away in the Sagittarius-Carina spiral arm of our galaxy - the next arm inward from us. At this distance, the cluster's angular diameter corresponds to a linear size of about 15 light years. The nebula extends much farther out, to dimensions of about 70 x 55 light years. M 16 might form one giant complex with M 17, the Omega Nebula, to the south in Sagittarius.
M 16's stellar swarm is only about 5.5 million years old, with its hottest, youngest stars of spectral type O6. Excited by high-energy ultraviolet radiation from these massive stars, this great cloud of interstellar gas glows by fluorescence
Images made in 1995 by the Hubble Space Telescope greatly improved our understanding of the star formation process taking place inside the nebula. One of these images, a famous photograph known as the "Pillars of Creation", depicts a large region of star formation whose small dark areas are believed to be protostars. At the end of each pillar, the intense ultraviolet light of newborn stars is vaporizing some of the hydrogen gas, and shaping structures called "EGGs" (Evaporating Gaseous Globules).
In 2007, scientists using the Spitzer Space Telescope discovered evidence that the Pillars were actually destroyed by a supernova explosion about 6,000 years ago. But the light showing their destruction, and the new shape of the nebula, will not reach the Earth for another millennium