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Wikipedia:Picture of the day/March 2, 2005

Picture of the day

Eagle Nebula

The Eagle Nebula (also known as Messier Object 16, M16 or NGC 6611) is a young open cluster of stars. The nebula is an active region of star formation. Light from the bright, hot, young stars near the centre of the cluster illuminate the clouds of hydrogen gas and dust still collapsing to form new stars.

As projected on the sky, the Eagle Nebula lies in the constellation of Serpens Cauda. In three dimensions, it is relatively close to the solar system being some 7,000 light years away on the edge of the Sagittarius Arm, the next nearest spiral arm towards the centre of the Milky Way.

In fact, when the picture is not coloured, is only red colored, the "Eagle" can be seen as a dark spot in the center of the nebula.

Photo credit: NASA
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