Eagle Nebula M16 NGC 6611

Eagle Nebula M16 NGC 6611 20070620
Eagle Nebula M16 NGC 6611 20070620 also known as the Star Queen Nebula and The Spire
Telescope / Lens TEC 140mm APO F/7 Refractor
Mount Type Astro-Physics AP1200
Camera SBIG ST8XME NABG
 Filters Astrodon LRGB+HA Generation 1
 Film  CCD
 Exposure Total exposure time 115 minutes
 Processing CCDSoft & Photoshop CS2
 Date  June 20, 2007
 Location  June Mountain, near Dexter, Oregon 122° 43.53 W 43° 48.41′ N
 Conditions 3252′ magnitude 6.1 Skies; Clear & Steady

The Eagle Nebula, M16 is an 8th magnitude Open Cluster in the constellation of Serpens next to Ophiuchus with this cluster lying near Sagittarius. Through a telescope the cluster of stars is visible but little or no nebulosity can be seen. This is because ours eyes are not sensitive enough to see the nebulosity. Therefore long images on film or CCD are needed to show the nebulosity. The three central pillars were imaged by The Hubble Space Telescope and are referred to as the” Pillars of Creation. Most importantly, you can see small stars that are emerging from these dust clouds. 55 stars make up this Open Stars Cluster lying 7,000 lights years from Earth.  

Below is a cropped view that clearly resemble the famous “Pillars of Creation” taken by the Bubble Space Telescope in 1995 by   Jeff Hester and Paul Scowen.  Remember this image was taken trough a modest TEC 140mm Refractor telescope here on earth, near Dexter, Oregon.

Eagle Nebula M16 NGC 6611, Crop image highligthening the Pillars of Creation"
Eagle Nebula M16 NGC 6611_ Crop. “Pillars of Creation” from an amateur’s 5.5″ refractor.

Sad Note:

Evidence from the Spitzer Space Telescope (SST) indicates that the “Pillars of Creation” have already been destroyed.  A Super Nova explosion’s shock wave has destroyed these structures.  Therefore the image we see no longer exists. Since we are thousands of light years away it will be a millennia before we see the damage caused by the shock waves. The light from this super nova would have been visible on Earth some 1000-2000 years ago.