The Eagle Nebula and the Swan Nebula span
broad starscape, a telescopic view of the
spiral arm toward the center of our Milky Way galaxy.
The Eagle, also known as M16, is left, above center, and the Swan,
or M17 at the lower right.
The deep, wide-field image shows the cosmic clouds as
brighter regions of active star-formation.
They lie along the spiral arm suffused with
reddish emission charactistic of
atomic hydrogen gas, and dusty dark nebulae.
In fact, the center of both nebulae are locations of well-known
close-up images of
from the Hubble Space Telescope.
M17, also called the Omega Nebula, is about 5500 light-years away,
while M16 is some 6500 light-years distant.
In the frame that covers 3 degrees across the sky, the extended wings
of the Eagle Nebula are spread over 120 light-years.
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