Swan Nebula, M17
Copyright 2011
Larry Phillips
M17, Swan Nebula, also known as the Lobster or Omega Nebula in the
        constellation Sagittarius

Cataloged as NGC 6618

This is a region of star formation and shines by excited emission, caused by the higher energy radiation of young stars. Unlike many other emission nebulae, these stars are not obvious in optical images, but hidden in the nebula. Star formation is either still active in this nebula or ceased very recently.
Distance: Estimated at 5000 light years
Size: An estimated 40 light years across
Camera: SBIG ST-2000XM
Telescope: Astrophysics Starfire 130 EDT F8
Mount: Losmandy G11 with Gemini Control with Advanced Telescope Systems portable pier
Images: 10 luminance @ 5 minutes each, 16 Red @ 5 minutes each, 16 Green @ 5 minutes each,
                  16 Blue @ 5 minutes each
Date: June 2007
Software: Camera and guider control - CCDSoft, calibration and stacking - CCDStack, creation of color image - Photoshop CS2