The Eagle Nebula (catalogued as Messier 16 or M16, and as NGC 6611, and also known as the Star Queen Nebula and The Spire) 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 long.
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.
Imaging telescopes or lenses: Takahashi FSQ106
Imaging cameras: Atik 460 EX Mono
Mounts: Vixen New Atlux
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Takahashi FSQ106
Guiding cameras: QHY5L-II-M 5L-II M
Software: PHD Lab PhD Guiding 2, Main Sequence Software SequenceGeneratorPro, PixInsight
Filters: Astrodon Narrowband 3mn (Ha, OIII, SII, NII)
Accessories: Atik OAG, Atik EFW2 Filter Wheel
Dates: Aug. 3, 2013
Integration: 18.5 hours
Avg. Moon age: 26.00 days
Avg. Moon phase: 13.48%
RA center: 274.745 degrees
DEC center: -13.900 degrees
Pixel scale: 1.764 arcsec/pixel
Orientation: 154.720 degrees
Field radius: 0.826 degrees
Locations: Bilgebay Observatory, Mugla, Marmaris, Turkey