The Fairy of the Eagle is a massive column of gas and dust in the Eagle Nebula (M16). Some say it resembles a winged, fairy like, creature standing on a pedestal. This colossal pillar is approximately 10 light-years in length. This is more than twice the distance from our Sun and its nearest star. M16 is the site of active stellar birth with many proto and newly formed stars located within the obscuring gas and dust of the “Fairy Pillar”. This spectacular object lies about 7,000 light-years distant in the constellation Serpens.
The displayed picture above is a false color image assembled from data taken through emission line filters. Sulfur II is mapped to Red, Hydrogen Alpha is mapped to Green, and Oxygen III is mapped to Blue. The stars were overlaid with red, green, and blue data captured using traditional RGB filters.