M-16 (NGC-6611) is a hydrogen II emission nebula with imbedded star cluster located in the constellaton of Serpens. Its common name is "The Eagle Nebula" because the shape of the gas clouds resemble an eagle in flight. It lies 7,000 light years from Earth and is 70 X 55 light years in extent. The imbedded star cluster is 15 light years in diameter. M-16 was discovered by de Cheseaux in 1750, but he described only the cluster of stars. Charles Messier independently discovered it in 1764 and included it in his catalog as number 16. The glowing clouds of ionized hydrogen in M-16 are obscured in places by elongated columns of dark dust. These dark columns, popularized by the Hubble Telescope image "The Pillars of Creation" can be plainly seen in this image.
This image is a 1 hour integration of 6 minute exposures through the Celestron C-11 at f/2 using the HyperStar III imaging system and the Starlight Express SXVR H-694C color CCD camera operating at
-10 degrees below ambient temperature and binned 1 X 1. Guided, captured and combined using Maxim
DL5 Pro. Post Processed using PhotoShopCS2, Gradient XTerminator, StarShrink, Carboni's Astro Tools, and NoiseWare.