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The Eagle Nebula - Celestron 11 - f6

© 2014 Klaus Brasch






The following was retrieved from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messier_16 on March 1, 2014

The Eagle Nebula

"The Eagle Nebula (catalogued as Messier 16 or M16, and as NGC 6611, and also known as the Star Queen Nebula) is a young open cluster of stars in the constellation Serpens, discovered by Jean-Philippe de Cheseaux in 1745-46. Its name derives from its shape that is thought to resemble an eagle. It contains several active star-forming gas and dust regions, including the famous "Pillars of Creation", photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope.

The Eagle Nebula is part of a diffuse emission nebula, or H II region, which is catalogued as IC 4703. This region of active current star formation is about 7000 light-years distant. The tower of gas that can be seen coming off the nebula is approximately 9.5 light-years or about 90 trillion kilometers high.

The brightest star in the nebula (HD 168076) has an apparent magnitude of +8.24, easily visible with good binoculars. It is actually a binary star formed of an O3.5V star plus an O7.5V companion.

The cluster associated with the nebula has approximately 460 stars, the brightest of spectral class O, a mass of roughly 80 solar masses, and a luminosity up to 1 million times that of the Sun. Its age has been estimated to be 1–2 million years.

The descriptive names reflect impressions of the shape of the central pillar rising from the southeast into the central luminous area. The name "Star Queen Nebula" was introduced by Robert Burnham, Jr., reflecting his characterization of the central pillar as the Star Queen shown in silhouette."

The license terms of this written work from Wikipedia may be found at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/





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