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.