M16 Cose Up
Image Credit & Copyright:
Martin Pugh

Explanation: A star cluster around 2 million years young surrounded by natal clouds of dust and glowing gas, M16 is also known as The Eagle Nebula. This beautifully detailed image of the region adopts the colorful Hubble palette and includes cosmic sculptures made famous in Hubble Space Telescope close-ups of the starforming complex. Described as elephant trunks or Pillars of Creation, dense, dusty columns rising near the center are light-years in length but are gravitationally contracting to form stars. Energetic radiation from the cluster stars erodes material near the tips, eventually exposing the embedded new stars. Extending from the ridge of bright emission left of center is another dusty starforming column known as the Fairy of Eagle Nebula. M16 lies about 7,000 light-years away, an easy target for binoculars or small telescopes in a nebula rich part of the sky toward the split constellation Serpens Cauda (the tail of the snake).

Tomorrow’s picture: Rosetta’s Return

Martin Pugh

说明: 亦名为老鹰星云的M16,是个稚龄约2百万年,周围还环拱着尘埃和明亮气体胎衣云的星团。这幅美丽细致、使用哈伯色表上色的此区影像,呈现了因哈勃太空望远镜先前为这个恒星形成区复合体拍摄的特写,而声名大噪的一些宇宙雕塑。在影像的中心附近,有长数光年,正在经历重力塌缩形成恒星,名为象鼻或创世之柱的致密尘埃柱。而源自此星团成员星的高能辐射,侵蚀了它们柱顶的物质,让内藏的新恒星曝露出来。从影像中左方伸出的明亮脊状结构,是名为鹰状星云仙女的另一根尘埃恒星形成柱。位在星云密布的巨蛇座尾部方向、约7,000光年远处的M16,是使用双筒或小望远镜即可轻易找到的天体。

明日的图片: Rosetta’s Return