M16- 5.21.2006
Image Capture Details

Optics:  Orion ED80mm
Mount: Meade LX200
Camera: Canon Digital Rebel 350XT
Filters: Sirius V-Block

Focal Ratio:  F/7.5

Guiding with Meade DSI

Exposure:
13 X 120 Seconds .
Cropped  in Photoshop
Time: 1:49am - 2:05am EST
Location: Waldwick, NJ
M16 1 - The Eagle Nebula:  Lying some 7,000 light years distant in the constellation Serpens, close to the borders to Scutum and Sagittarius, and in the
next inner spiral arm of the Milky Way galaxy from us (the Sagittarius or Sagittarius-Carina Arm) a great cloud of interstellar gas and dust has entered a
vivid process of star formation. Open star cluster M16 has formed from this great gaseous and dusty cloud, the diffuse Eagle Nebula IC 4703, which is
now caused to shine by emission light, excited by the high-energy radiation of its massive hot, young stars. It is actually still in the process of forming
new stars, this formation taking place near the dark "elephant trunks" which are well visible in our photograph, as well as in AAT pictures and other
images of M16. A deeper insight in the star formation process could be obtained from the HST images of M16, published in November 1995; moreover,
they were used for an animation simulating the approach to this star forming region, and we provide some screen sized images (suitable as
backgrounds for your computer screen).

This stellar swarm is only about 5.5 million years old (according to the Sky Catalog 2000 and Götz) with star formation still active in the Eagle Nebula;
this results in the presence of very hot young stars of spectral type O6. The cluster was classified as of Trumpler type II,3,m,n (Götz). The brightest star
of M16 is of visual magnitude 8.24. At its distance of 7,000 light years, its angular diameter of 7 arc minutes corresponds to a linear extension of about
15 light years. The nebula extends much farther out, to a diameter of over 30', corresponding to a linear size of about 70x55 light years.



1 http://www.seds.org/messier/m/m016.html
© 2007 David A. Trapani
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