Bird, wildlife, and landscape photography by Jon Rista
The Eagle and The Omega
Near the core of the Milky Way, during the summer when it is visible in the night sky, a large number of emission nebula can be found. In the past I’ve shared images of Lagoon and Trifid nebulas. Just north of those two are a couple more: Eagle nebula and Omega or Swan nebula. These nebula are not as large or brilliant as Lagoon and Trifid, but they are beautiful little objects nevertheless. Eagle Nebula, made famous by Hubble Telescope images, you may already know of:
The Eagles Beak – Hubble Telescope
The Omega nebula, also called Swan nebula, is less known, although it, too, has been photographed by Hubble:
The Core of Omega – Hubble Telescope
While not as spectacular as Hubbles ultra close up views of these amazing objects in space, the image I am sharing here today demonstrates the proximity of these two nebula, silhouetted against the core of the Milky Way. This region of space is packed with dust, interleaved with hydrogen (pinkish) and oxygen (bluish) gasses that permeate the region, and ignite with an electric glow where energy density increases. The greater nebula surrounding the Eagle demonstrates a common motif with nebula in space, something I have observed over my time as an astrophotographer. A globular structure above, with an expansive nebula fanning out below, the two often separated by dark dust. The Orion Nebula exhibits this, with M43 being the globe, and M42 itself being the expanse of gas below. Another nebula that I recently imaged (and will share soon), Seagull Nebula, also exhibits this structure…a globe above the expansive “wings of a seagull” nebula. The double lobed structure is even more common…Omega nebula also exhibits a double lobed structure, and a globe may be hidden behind the dust lane that separates the two lobes.