Messier 16. NGC 6611. Eagle Nebula in higher resolution


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M 16 is an emission nebula located in the constellation Serpens Cauda. This nebula is the site of many newborn stars and it has already originated a crowded open cluster. In fact, the designation NGC 6611 belongs to the star cluster, the nebula itself is named IC 4703. This nebula contains several Bok globules (see more detailed explanation about them in the page of the Running Chicken Nebula), as well as many so-called EGGs (Evaporating Gaseous Globules). These latter are to be found at the tips of the “Pillars of Creation”, an impressive structure located just below the center of this image and worldwide known due to the famous image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.

In fact, it has been determined, using the Spitzer Space Telescope, that the Pillars of Creation were wiped off by the explosion of a supernova about 6,000 years ago, but the light showing its effects will remain traveling to Earth for another 1,000 years approx. In other words, look at them now, that they are still so beautiful!!

This image was taken in collaboration with Christian Sasse within our fruitful joint project. It has been processed using an intermediate palette between the natural color and the Hubble palette, in order to better enhance the differences in composition, especially between Hydrogen and Sulphur, having both a deep red color. It was also blended with a low proportion of the RGB color images.  

Additional Information


Name(s): Messier 16. M16. Eagle Nebula. IC 4703. NGC 6611

Type: Emission Nebula

RA:  18h 18m 47s

Dec: -13º 46’ 55”

Constellation: Serpens cauda

Size (arcmin): 83×51

Magnitude: +6.4

Distance: 6,500 ly


Date: 2022-04-18 to 2022-07-18

Location: Obstech, Río Hurtado, Chile

Size (arcmin): 27.5 x 18.2 arcmin

Telescope: 24” f/6.5 Reflector

Camera: QHY 461 (11760x8896pix)

Guiding: off-axis guider

Total exposure: 53h 50m (Ha: 13h 30m; OIII: 11h 40m; SII: 10h 40m; RGB: 18h)

Processing: CCDStack, PixInsight (one process) and Photoshop CC 2024

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