The Eagle Nebula (IC 4703)


The Eagle Nebula (IC 4703) surrounds the open star cluster NGC 6611 which was cataloged by Messier as M16.  This is a rather dim nebula that is difficult to see visually in small telescopes.  The light from this nebula started its journey to my telescope about 6,500 years ago.  The dark finger in the center of the nebula is caused by foreground dust that is blocking the light from the nebula.  There are several other dark lanes in this object as well.  The finger is sometimes called the pillars of creation.  This false color image was made by shooting 12 forty minute exposures through three different narrow band emission line filters.  It took several nights to complete because the object is relatively low in the southern sky from here, and also because my house and trees interfere with the view in that direction, so I was only able to image for 2-3 hours per night.

Date: August 22-29, 2006
Location: Cupertino, CA
Scope: Takahashi FS102 @ 800mm
Guiding: Vixen 60mm refractor with SBIG ST-4
Mount: Losmandy G-11
Camera: SBIG ST2000XM
Filters: Custom Scientific in FLI CFW
Exposure details:
3x40min Hydrogen Alpha for green
4x40min OIII for blue
5x40min Sulfur for red
Processing: MaximDL for calibration, alignment and combining.  PSCS for final processing


Thanks to Richard Crisp for image processing suggestions.