Messier 16


This image shows the conspicuous open star cluster Messier 16 together with the Eagle Nebula, a region of current star formation. The reddish regions of nebulous matter consist of photo-ionized hydrogen gas, while the dark lanes are thought to be condensations of dusty matter which may collapse to form more stars at one time. Note that the reddish nebula (IC 4703) is much more extended than the cluster of bright stars in the upper right of our image. Also have a careful look at the beautiful dark nebula pattern obscuring the bright nebula in the center of our image; this pattern is the so-called Star Queen.

This image is copyrighted and may be used for private purpose only. For any other kind of use, including internet mirroring and storing on CD-ROM, please contact the Photo Permissions Department (photo at aaoepp.aao.gov.au) of the Australian Astronomical Observatory.

  • More information on this image by David Malin

  • Enhanced image of the central region of the Eagle Nebula and M16 from exposures with the Anglo-Australian Telescope, by David Malin
  • Wider field image from the same photographic plates
  • More images by David Malin

    Hartmut Frommert
    Christine Kronberg

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    Last Modification: July 7, 1999