The Eagle Nebula (also known as M16 or NGC 6611), perhaps one of the most famous and easily recognized space objects, is a young open cluster of stars in the constellation Serpens, discovered by Jean-Philippe de Cheseaux in 1745-46. It is associated with a diffuse emission nebula, or H II region, which is catalogued as IC 4703. This region of active current star formation is about 7,000 light-years distant. The brightest star in the nebula has an apparent magnitude of 8.24, easily visible with good binoculars.

Images by Debra Holton


Images by Andrew Wilson


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