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Contains:  M 16, Eagle nebula, NGC 6611
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M16: Majestic Eagle in LRGB, 


            Robert Churan
M16: Majestic Eagle in LRGB

M16: Majestic Eagle in LRGB

Technical card

Resolution: 5400x3600

ZWO Blue 1.25": 15x512"
ZWO Green 1.25": 15x512"
ZWO Luminance 1.25": 45x512"
ZWO Red 1.25": 15x512"

Integration: 12.8 hours

Darks: ~50

Flats: ~50

Bias: ~50 job: 2788429

RA center: 274.695 degrees

DEC center: -13.830 degrees

Pixel scale: 0.381 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 358.678 degrees

Field radius: 0.344 degrees

Data source: Backyard


The Eagle Nebula is a beautiful region in the Southern constellation of Serpens some 7000 light years distant from us. It is comprised of two main objects, the young open cluster NGC 6611 and the HII emission nebula region called IC 4703.

The central cluster is home to around 8100 stars and 1 or 2 million years old. The brightest star, HD 168076, is a binary star formed by two O-type main sequence stars. They have a combined mass of around 80 million M☉ and are about a million times brighter than our sun.

The HII region, IC 4703, surrounding the cluster is, like many other diffuse emission nebula, a place of active star formation. This creates several of the structures that make this target so beautiful. The "Pillars of Creation" in the center, as well as the gaseous dark tower in the top left called the Stellar Spire and many bok globules spread throughout power active star formation.

The pillars may look small, but they are actually light years in length. The large Stellar Spire is 9.5 light years long, making it more than twice the distance from the sun to the nearest star system. The pillars are getting smaller, however. The active cluster produces huge doses of UV radiation that are eroding them. It is estimated that the pillars will be completely gone in 100,000 years.

When choosing a target, I always browse the literature to try and find an object with a story to tell. This one definitely intrigued me with its delicate balance of creation and destruction. The regions that form stars are actively being destroyed by stars. I had tons of fun with this one. Being such a bright target made data easy to grab and it turned out so clean that processing was minimal. I nailed exactly how I wanted this processed after reviewing just the first four iterations.

CS to all,



Robert Churan
License: None (All rights reserved)

Sky plot

Sky plot


M16: Majestic Eagle in LRGB, 


            Robert Churan