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Eagle Nebula and Pillars

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#1 JamesDouglas

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 10:26 AM

Hello Everyone

I am a newbie to astronomy, but I have been fascinated with the night sky all of my life. Just bought a Nexstar SE 8" and I am looking forward to some deep sky marvels.
I would like to ask if it is possible to view the Eagle nebula and the Pillars of Creation? If so, what sort of equipment is required? :question:

#2 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 02:38 PM

You may have a chance at seeing the general area of the pillars, if not making them out directly, using a nebula filter under very dark skies.

Dave Mitsky

#3 Starman1

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 04:55 PM

What Dave said.
With the nebula filter, M16 is insanely easy. I can see it in a 50mm finder in dark skies, no filter. But, it does depend heavily on the darkness of your skies.
Galaxies and Nebulae are the hardest things to see in an urban or suburban area. Star clusters are easiest, and since there are probably 5000 of those visible in your 8", that's where I'd start.
Trying to duplicate Hubble images will likely end in frustration.
If you send me your email address in a private message on this site, I'll send you a list of the 500 Best Deep sky objects, all of which were visible in my 5".
With your 8SE, finding them won't be a chore.

#4 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 06:46 PM

Here's what David Knisely had to say about M16 in his filter comparison report:

M16 EAGLE NEBULA (diffuse nebula in Serpens)

(10 inch f/5.6, 52x).

DEEP SKY: (2) Faint diffuse nebulosity is slightly easier to see than without a filter. Not a great deal of detail visible in nebula.

UHC: (4) Large increase in visible nebulosity, showing wide diffuse fan of light in the shape of a broad “T”. Small darker inclusion becomes visible along the northern side.

OIII: (4) Slightly fainter than with UHC, with slightly less faint outer nebulosity, but shows more contrast and dark detail in the interior, including faint narrow “fingers” from south side into the center of the nebula with averted vision.

H-BETA: (2) Dims the nebula significantly, but “T” shape still vaguely visible.

RECOMMENDATION FOR M16: UHC/OIII, but H-BETA hurts the view


http://www.prairieas...ter-performa...

Dave Mitsky

#5 Tony Flanders

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 05:12 AM

Just bought a Nexstar SE 8" and I am looking forward to some deep sky marvels.
I would like to ask if it is possible to view the Eagle nebula and the Pillars of Creation? If so, what sort of equipment is required?


The Eagle Nebula is easy to see without a filter under semi-dark skies through virtually any instrument -- once your eyes are trained to see faint nebulosity. With a good nebula filter, your telescope should show it even under good suburban skies.

The Pillars of Creation (or Star-Queen Throne) are a lot more challenging. Should be possible in your scope, but only under pristine skies with the aid of a filter.

Through a 36-inch scope under pristine skies with a nebula filter, the Pillars stick out like a sore thumb.

Incidentally, part of the problem with the Eagle Nebula is that it enshrouds a star cluster that's considerably brighter than the nebulosity. Seeing the entire complex with your unaided eyes is a good test for a dark sky.

#6 Achernar

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 09:33 AM

While you can see the Eagle Nebula easily with a 6 or 8-inch telescope from less than stellar sites with nebula filters, the Pillars of Creation are acutally quite hard to see unless the skies are very dark. Even then, they are quite subtle through an 8-inch from a dark area. O-III filters help, but you won't see anything like the detail Hubble images show. You'll see an irregular and ragged, triangular darker zone near the center of the nebula, as well as some other dark clouds in front of the glowing gasses lit up by the star cluster within M-16. It is also possible to see the eagle like outline of the whole nebula at low power. Larger telescopes will of course improve the view of the Pillars of Creation, but you should be able to glimpse them with an 8-inch. The triangular darker zone in the sketch is where the Pillars of Creation are.

Taras

Attached Thumbnails

  • 5834040-m-16.png


#7 Jeremy Perez

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 10:36 AM

Taras, that sketch is a great rendition of how the Pillars appear to subtly intrude on the nebula. Eric Graff and I made an observing project out of M16 a few years ago. My result is below, showing hints of the shadow of the pillars intruding from the southeast. I kind of rushed my observation of the northeast side of the nebula and really need to re-observe and touch that part up.

Eric’s incredible sketch and report (showing the pillar intrusions) can be found here: M16 Observation and Sketch - Eric Graff - July 4, 2008.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 5834163-img2008070201_M16lg.jpg


#8 Starman1

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 10:55 AM

I've seen this object for 50 years.
In the last 20 or so, I've seen the shape as that of a stylized eagle, similar to the way the Navajo (or 1930's Nazis!!) represent it.
I see the head turned sideways to us and the star cluster in the head.
I see the wings spread out to each side and the "feet" brighter knots away from the head.
Picture this picture:
http://www.astrofoto.../M16_HaRGB.html
without the fingers/pillars area distinctly visible and you come close to the visual appearance I'm used to, using a UHC filter.
One fine night with the 12.5", I tracked nebulosity from M16 to M17 and visually confirmed that both of those nebulae are, indeed, merely bright knots in the same nebula.
Few photos go that deep. Here's one that does:
http://www.galaxyima...om/M16 M17.html

Awesome area.

#9 David Knisely

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 12:31 PM

While you can see the Eagle Nebula easily with a 6 or 8-inch telescope from less than stellar sites with nebula filters, the Pillars of Creation are acutally quite hard to see unless the skies are very dark. Even then, they are quite subtle through an 8-inch from a dark area. O-III filters help, but you won't see anything like the detail Hubble images show. You'll see an irregular and ragged, triangular darker zone near the center of the nebula, as well as some other dark clouds in front of the glowing gasses lit up by the star cluster within M-16. It is also possible to see the eagle like outline of the whole nebula at low power. Larger telescopes will of course improve the view of the Pillars of Creation, but you should be able to glimpse them with an 8-inch. The triangular darker zone in the sketch is where the Pillars of Creation are.

Taras


Actually, the dark triangular inclusion on the northern side of M16's nebulosity is not quite where the "pillars" are. They are a little more towards the opposite side and are quite hard to see even under dark sky conditions. I can see them (barely) in my 10 inch with an OIII filter, but just as a tiny almost linear dark spot very near (or maybe just a little to the southeast of) the nebula's center (a little south from HD 161316). In my 14 inch, they almost look like a vague "check mark". Clear skies to you.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 5834414-M16DSS2.jpg


#10 george golitzin

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 05:14 PM

... They are a little more towards the opposite side and are quite hard to see even under dark sky conditions.


ditto! It took me 12 years to get a good view. Like many challenging objects, they're hard to find until you know what you're looking for--and I never had a good idea of what a telescopic view would be, or what their placement was exactly, because astrophotos tend to overexpose helpful guide stars. (Actually, David's image above looks quite good for this purpose.) I found the negative image below to be helpful. With my 18-inch in a dark sky, and this image for a guide, it was easy to spot the dark base of the pillars in a 31mm + OIII; moving to a 10mm XW + UHC, both the main pillar and the little one next to it stood out very clearly. I was very happy! Now that I know what to look for, the target is somewhat easier.

-geo

Attached Thumbnails

  • 5834938-04-23-2010-Messier-016-Eagle-Nebula-C8-350D-F6-CGEM-900x600-inverted.jpg



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