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

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[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.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: jlinsky@jila.colorado.edu

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