M16, The Eagle Nebula


    M16 (IC 4703), Magnitude 6.4 Cluster and Emission Nebula, Size 7.0'x7.0', Constellation: Serpens.


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M16 and its enveloping nebula, IC 4703, are probably one of the most well-known showpieces in the heavens due to the popularity of the famous HST "finger of god" image of this pair of objects. For many years, this was thought to be a difficult or impossible object for visual observers, but the OIII filter has made this trivial for amateur scopes under dark skies.

The Eagle flies about 7,000 light years from Earth and is a great star forming complex of interstellar dust and gas stretching about 50 - 70 light years across.

I wasn't certain whether the Stellacam would show up the nebula's famous dark regions, but it had no problem in that regard, with the dark lanes being easily visible in real time...

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