The Eagle Nebula, home of the “Pillars of Creation”

Perhaps the most famous Hubble image is the “Pillars of Creation,” towers of gas where new stars are being born within the Eagle Nebula (formally M16.)

My backyard telescope under the thick Florida atmosphere can’t match the resolution of Hubble, but it can still capture this object. I’ve imaged this before, but this is the first time I’ve done so under dark enough skies to get good Oxygen emission data, which is critical to reproducing the colors in the iconic Hubble image. This image, and Hubble’s, is a false-color image. Red represents emissions from ionized Sulfur, green represents ionized Hydrogen, and blue represents ionized Oxygen. Using special filters on my camera, we can capture each element and combine them together while processing the final image.

Here we see the larger Eagle Nebula that the “pillars” reside within. There’s a full-frame shot, and a version that’s cropped and rotated to be a little more familiar to fans of the Hubble version.

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  1. I saw your post on Neighborhood app – My husband and I live in Sunset Lakes.
    These pics are absolutely fascinating. We have lived at the back gate of Sunset Lakes for 20+ years now and have ALWAYS enjoyed the spectacular sunsets but YOU have gone WAY BEYOND the sunsets. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Looks amazing!!
    My name is David Diamond, I live three doors down, South of you in the house with the orange roof and Hummers in the driveway.
    Would love to check it out and meet our new neighbor.
    Let me know when the skies are clear. My phone number is 321-544-7777.

    1. Oh hi! Just seeing these comments now. Hoping to put on a little neighborhood “star party” sometime soon! Meanwhile say hi if you see me out there.

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