messier 16
messier 16 Back to Index Page Previous Image Next Image
This is the central area of M 16, which harbors an area of the Eagle Nebula known as the "Pillars of Creation". The pillars are actually immense columns of gas and dust that appear to have a much higher density than other surrounding material. The pinkish hue near the core of this object is a tell-tale sign of just how energetic the ultraviolet radiation from newly formed stars can be. This intense radiation coupled with winds from the nearby stars have literally "eroded" the faces of these dense columns, creating the brightened rims seen throughout this image. This process is formally known as photoevaporation. A much more dramatic view of this area by the Hubble Space Telescope can be found by clicking here. Deep within these dark features, astronomers have found even more dense individual knots of eroded material known as evaporating gaseous globules (EGG's). It is now believed that such features are the actual nesting grounds for newborn stars. Image taken with homemade 8-inch f/5.4 astrograph and SBIG STL-11000XM. LRGB image composed of 40 minutes each R,G,B and synthetic L channel. Click on the above image for the high resolution version.