This is probably one of the most well known images in the history of astrophotography. In 2005, this Hubble image was re-released using a different coloring matrix. It shows a very small portion of the Eagle Nebula (also called M16). This spire has become known as the "Fairy of the Eagle Nebula" because it kind of resembles a fairy (but for those of you familiar with the Fire Bird from Disney’s original Fantasia, I think it looks more like that). The Eagle Nebula is about 7,000 light-years away and located in the constellation Serpens.
The fairy stands an impressive 10 light-years tall, and is currently being carved and shaped by the stellar winds of the newly formed stars, as well as the fully formed stars that managed to get to the party first. The spire is also cocooning its own star formation, some of which can be seen shining in their glory.
Share This Article