Region around M 16 and M 17 in the constellations Snake, Archer and Shield

This 3-frame mosaic shows the large gas nebulae and star forming regions M 16 and M 17 within their surrounding dark clouds. Here, we look exactly along the galactic equator, i.e. into the plane of our Milky Way, which consists of hundreds of millions of stars. There is no region with a "free" sky in the image. So we can only look up to a distance of a few thousand light years.

larger image
Optics: Canon EF 200 mm f/2.8L USM at f/4
Focal Length: 200 mm
Camera: Fuji X-M1
Exposure: 3-frame mosaic,
together 62 x 300 s
Location: Chamaeleon Observatory, Onjala Lodge, Namibia
Processing: DeepSkyStacker, Nebulosity, Photoshop
Diameter:100 light years (M 16)
50 light years (M 17)
Distance:5,700 light years (M 16)
5,500 light years (M 17)
annotated image

image field in the sky