M16 Eagle Nebula

Object Type: Emission Nebula
Scope: AP 5" Refractor
Exposure 270 minutes

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. The nebula contains several active star-forming gas and dust regions, including the Pillars of Creation. The Eagle Nebula lies in the Sagittarius Arm of the Milky Way.
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 5700 light-years distant. A spire of gas that can be seen coming off the nebula in the northeastern part is approximately 9.5 light-years or about 90 trillion kilometers long.

The cluster associated with the nebula has approximately 8100 stars, which are mostly concentrated in a gap in the molecular cloud to the north-west of the Pillars. The cluster's age has been estimated to be 1–2 million years.