M 16 -- Open Cluster (NGC 6611) & Eagle Nebula (IC 4703)
Ghost-Eagle in a Star Cluster
One of the most memorable photos ever taken by the Hubble Telescope was the
“Pillars of Creation”, located in the heart of M16. These magnificent dark dust
towers, trillions of miles long, are in the process of being evaporated away by the
hot ultraviolet radiation of newly developed stars. The Hubble photo of these pillars
always comes to my mind when I view this tiny section of the universe.
From my suburban house, using the 6-inch telescope, the pillars can only be
imagined. Even the nebulosity (called the Eagle) that the pillars are in is invisible to
me, unless I use an OIII (Oxygen-3) filter. The bright-young stars that were born from
the nebulosity marks the spot in the eyepiece as an easy-to-see open cluster
(NGC 6611). Once the cluster is placed in the center of the wide-field eyepiece then
I slip in the Oxygen-3 filter and the ghost-like Eagle (IC 4703) appears.