M16, The Eagle Nebula in Serpens (Cauda)

 

(Click on image for full size version)

 

Description: At a distance of approximately 7,000 ly, this large nebula consists of gaseous clouds being excited by emissions from the star forming cluster of young stars in the upper center.  The narrow darker regions result from stars being formed at their nominal apex.
 
Exposure Data: 8/5/2003.  L(R)RGB: 8x4m, 8x4m, 8x4m,  GB binned at 2x2.
 -10C, 0.75 arc-sec./pixel.
 
Processing: Acquired via Sequencer and Maxim, reduced and aligned in Mira, combined with Sigma Reject plug-in, 20 iterations RL in AIP4WIN, LRGB combine, curves, levels, and USM in Photoshop.  Light SGBNR.
 
Optical System: 12.5 Ritchey-Chretien RCOS Truss @ F/5.9, ST-10XME NABG/CFW-8A CCD camera, Paramount ME.  Autoguided.
 
Comments: This wider field image was taken with a .63x focal reducer operating at .66x.  A close-up of the central portion Star Queen Nebula is here.  Used as cover art for Imagine, an inspirational audio CD by Judy Hunt.