Capturing the Eagle Nebula, home of the ‘Pillars of Creation’

The Eagle Nebula, known to legions of amateur astronomers as M16, is a vast cloud of ionised hydrogen associated with a cluster of more than 8,000 stars some 7,000 light years away in the constellation Serpens. This image by Marcel Drechsler “shows off the radiant red and blue colours of the nebula.” In the center of the image, one can see the famous “Pillars of Creation,” immortalised in an iconic photo by the Hubble Space Telescope. Drechsler captured this spectacular view from the Baerenstein Observatory in Germany using a Celestron astrograph, Baader narrow band filters and a ZWO-ASIL600mmc camera with a 620mm F/2.2 lens.

This image is one of those shortlisted in this year’s Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition, organised by the Royal Observatory Greenwich. Winners from the 2018 competition will be announced on 23 October at a special awards ceremony.

The Eagle Nebula. Image: Marcel Drechsler (Germany)