Eagle Nebula

M16, NGC 6611

Image exposure:
50 minutes
Image field of view:
92 x 59.3 arcminutes
Image date:

An emission nebula in the constellation of Serpens Cauda and an active star forming region. The nebula is formally identified as IC 4703 and is known by some as the Star Queen Nebula but by most as the Eagle Nebula. The cluster of bright newly formed stars is independently catalogued as NGC 6611.

I thought that the commonly used “Eagle Nebula” name referred to the entire nebula (even though I see it more as a bat) but that fount of all knowledge, Wikipedia, says that the name derives from birdlike qualities of the Pillars of Creation in the centre, so maybe I stand corrected.

As well as the Pillars and the star-forming regions, the nebula contains some dark lanes and other dark regions of interest.

M16 is 5,700 light years away and fifty-eight light years across. Despite the nebula’s overall beauty, it is probably best known for its central star-forming structures, known as the Pillars of Creation, cropped and enlarged below. There is no way I can outdo Hubble:

The Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula M16.
Field of View: 19.2 x 19.2 arc-minutes.
Image: © Roger Powell


Cosmic Focus Observatory

34° S

Above us only sky….

Telescope:SkyWatcher Esprit 120 mm apochromatic 3-element refractor; 840 mm f/l @ f/7.
Optics:Field flattener; ZWO duo narrowband Ha + [OIII] filter.
Mount & Guiding:SkyWatcher EQ6-R Pro mount.
Imaging camera:ZWO ASI 071 MC cooled.

Thanks for reading!
Images © Roger Powell


  1. One of my favorites. It is big. A full moon would easily fit within the center. Your close-up is nicely detailed.

    Thursday evening here should be very clear and 70˚F. I have invited facebook friends to join me at a local school to view Venus, the Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn. I like hearing them ooh and aah.

    Liked by 1 person

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