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Cultural Percussionist

The Cosmos with M16

The Eagle Nebula (M16) doesn’t look its usual red in this image. That’s because the photographer shot through Sulfur-II, Hydrogen-alpha, and Oxygen-III filters, and then assigned colors that would bring out details best to each filter. M16 is famous for housing the feature known as the Pillars of Creation. The Eagle Nebula is part of a diffuse emission nebula, or H II region, which is catalogued as IC 4703. This region of active current star formation is about 7000 light-years distant. A spire of gas that can be seen coming off the nebula in the northeastern part is approximately 9.5 light-years or about 90 trillion kilometers long.

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