The Eagle Nebula is a cluster of stars in the constellation Serpens and the pillar shapes in the middle of the nebula resemble that of an "eagle". The tower of gas that can be seen coming off the nebula is approximately 9.5 light-years high.
The Pillars of Creation (center of image) imaged by Hubble in 1995, no longer exist. In 2007, astronomers announced that they were destroyed about 6,000 years ago by the shock wave from a supernova. Because of the limited speed of lght,
the shock wave's approach to the pillars can currently be seen from
Earth, but their actual destruction will not be visible for 1000 years.
Imaged in Fort Davis, TX in the early morning hours of April 22, 2012
2-min exposure, flats, darks
QHY8 CCD, captured and processed with Nebulosity
Autoguided with Orion Star Shoot autoguider
Celestron 11" Edge HD and CGE Pro Equatorial mount.