Alt. Designations: NGC 6611
Object Type: Emission Nebula
Constellation: Serpens
Distance: 7 kly
Right Ascension: 18h 18m 48.0s
Declination: -13° 48´ 24"
Visual Magnitude: 6
Apparent Dimension: 8.0´ Dia.
Best Month To View: Jun

M16 is an open star cluster and cloud of hot gas about 7,000 light-years away in the constellation Serpens. It contains a diffuse nebula and several dark dust lanes known as the Eagle Nebula. The name comes from the shape of the nebula, which resembles a flying eagle. The stars in the cluster formed from the gasses in this nebula, and new stars are still in the process of forming. This bright object can easily be seen with any optical instrument. Color photographs will show off the bright red color of the nebula.