Eagle Nebula

Enhanced Color  

UV, visible, IR light
Black-and-White Images Taken of Filtered Light  

Eagle - b/wEagle - b/wEagle - b/w

Colors Assigned to Black-and-White Images  

Eagle - blueEagle - greenEagle - red

Final Image After Combining the Colored Images  

Eagle - full color

Learn More About This Image


Enhanced Color:
Eagle Nebula

The Eagle Nebula is a region of our galaxy where stars are currently forming out of dusty hydrogen gas. Ultraviolet light from newly-formed stars in the vicinity of the nebula is pumping energy into these gas clouds, causing them to glow in visible light.

The final image depicts red light from hydrogen atoms as green, red light from sulfur ions (sulfur atoms with one electron removed) as red, and green light from doubly-ionized oxygen (oxygen atoms with two electrons missing) as blue.

These color reassignments enhance the level of detail visible in the image, because otherwise the red light from hydrogen and that from sulfur would be hard to tell apart.

In the final image, the blue-green haze indicates light from hydrogen and oxygen surrounding the dark columns. The columns display reddish highlights identifying light from sulfur.