AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 4. Star-Forming Environments
Display, Monday, January 7, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, Monroe/Lincoln

[4.08] Chandra Observations of the Eagle Nebula: Seeing through the Pillars of Creation''

A.M. Mytyk, K.J. Daniel, M. Gagne (West Chester University), J.L. Linsky (JILA/University of Colorado)

The Chandra X-ray Observatory obtained a deep 78-ks image of the young star cluster M~16, also known as NGC~6611 or the Eagle Nebula on 2001 July 30. Over 1,000 X-ray sources were detected in the 17\arcmin\times17\arcmin ACIS-I FOV, making this the densest concentration of X-ray sources observed to date. Most of the X-ray sources are associated with the optically visible, 6-Myr old stars in NGC~6611. Of great interest is the percentage of X-ray luminous B- and A-type stars. In what is perhaps the most famous image obtained by HST, the central portion of the Eagle Nebula shows dark fingers of dust and cold gas (called the Pillars of Creation'') being photoionized and photoevaporated by nearby hot stars. Several highly absorbed X-ray sources are spatially coincident with evaporating gaseous globules at the tips of the fingers. This work is supported in part by NASA grant H-04630D to NIST and the University of Colorado.