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Harel Boren | all galleries >> Galleries >> Messier Objects > M16, A Closeup Study of The Pillars of Creation - Tribute to the Hubble Space Telescope
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June 2015 Harel Boren

M16, A Closeup Study of The Pillars of Creation - Tribute to the Hubble Space Telescope

Southern Sky Gems Observatory, Tivoli AstroFram, Kalahari Desert, Namibia

Total Exposure Time: 30:20 hours Bin1:Ha,R,G,B 84,7,7,11 x 10 min..each; Bin1: SII,OIII 23,25 x 15 min..each;Each of the three images is 885x900 pixels

Officina Stellare RiDK 305 F7.9 OTA
SBIG STF8300M, AP GTO1200 mount, guided w/MaximDL
RA 18h 18m 55.3s, Dec -13 52' 03.0"
Pos Angle +320 30.5', FL 2413.8 mm, 0.71"/Pixel

For more information about the location and objects in this image see:

Processed with PixInSight using IP4AP methodologies (

A star cluster around 2 million years young, M16 is surrounded by natal clouds of dust and glowing gas also known as The Eagle Nebula. This detailed image of the region
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.

This study comprises 3 renditions: the one at the center of the image is a natural color version, using ionized hydrogen data (Ha) to only define the structures
and luminosity in the image. The right image uses data collected from SII,Ha,OIII (mapped to the Red, Green and Blue channels, respectively) to convey a more accurate
notion of what substances manifest themselves in the image, and where. This pallet is commonly named the "Hubble Pallet" and is used in many of the renowned space telescope's images.
The left image is a Hubble Pallet image, processed to render turquoise and gold hues, rather than the "cold" green and blue hues usually dominating a Hubble Pallet image

To Northern Hemisphere viewers this area of the sky is known to be mostly red. Shooting this image from the Kalahari Desert in Namibia - deep in the Southern Hemisphere - enabled
collecting color data when the object was high in the sky, letting through the green and blue hues which dominate the top part of the RGB image (the one in the center), and lend it this
somewhat uncommon appearance.

M16 and the Eagle Nebula lie 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). (ref.

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