Messier Objects

M16 "Eagle Nebula": Emission Nebula (Serpens Cauda) RA: 18h 18.7m / DEC: -13° 48'.0
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder

M16, the Eagle Nebula, is another of the impressive emission nebulae gracing the summer sky. It resides in eastern Serpens but the closest bright stars are across the county line in Scutum. Gamma Scuti lies 2.6 degrees to the southeast. The Eagle nebula is best known as the subject of the signature image from the Hubble Space Telescope, the Pillars of Life. My humble 10-inch reflector may not be the equal of HST but the view of this summer nebula is pretty good. My sketch is based on a 63X view through an 18-mm Meade SWA eyepiece fitted with an oxygen III (OIII) nebula filter. The arching cluster of bright stars embedded within the western side of the Eagle are members of the open star cluster, NGC 6611. M16 spans roughly a 25'x13' area, the long axis oriented northeast-to-southwest.

M15 M17-Swan Nebula


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Revised: February 10, 2002 [WDF]