M16 is a reflection nebula, reflecting nearby starlight. Dust clouds that are "backlit" appear dark. The dark globules were originally called "Bok's globules" but recently they've been referred to as "Evaporating Gaseous Globules," or EGGs. M16 is 7000 light years away, or 1/4th of the way to the Milky Way galaxiy's center - and only 17 degrees from the center direction (and along the galactic plane).
Figure 1. Mosaic (2 images) of M16, 24.3 x 30.2 'arc, north at top, east to left. [10-inch Meade LX200 SCT, f/6.3, AO7-guided, unfiltered, 14 and 16 minute exposures, 2003.06.26Z, Herreford, AZ]
Figure 2. 24 x 16 'arc field of view with clear and red filters. [Celestron 14-inch SCT, JMI focuser, f/7 focal reducer, AO-7 adaptive optics stabilizer, SBIG CFW8 and ST_8XE CCD; 26 minute total exposure, no image processing enhancements; 2003.09.15Z, Hereford, AZ residence]
Figure 3. Approximation of true color, and crop of previous field of view. Stars are saturated in order to show the nebulosity. [Celestron 14-inch SCT, JMI focuser, f/7 focal reducer, AO-7 adaptive optics stabilizer, SBIG CFW8 and ST_8XE CCD; RGBC exposure times each 13 min,no image processing enhancements; 2003.09.15Z, Hereford, AZ residence]
Figure 4. Detail from Figure 1, showing "Bok globules" caused by radiation pressure and stellar wind of nearby hot stars. Image size is 11.0 x 8.45 'arc.
Figure 5. Detail of above detail, showing oval globule.
Figure 6. detail of upper-left region, showing long linear feature.
Figure 7. Zoom detail of the main "pillars" region.
Hubble Space Telescope image (but rotated ~30 degrees with north at.the
This site opened: June 26, 2003. Last Update: September 15, 2003