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M16 is known as the Eagle Nebula and lies in the constellation Serpens. It is one of a group of stunning nebulae which never gets very high in the sky in Britain. It is uncertain whether the 'Eagle' was intended originally to refer to the shape of the entire nebula, or the little dark dust lane in it, or to both. M16 is faint. The cluster of stars within it is quite easy to see, but the nebula itself benefits from a large reflecting telescope and a filter. I tried on numerous occasions to photograph M16 on film, with a spectacular lack of success. Once I had established the (long) exposure time needed I found that the Algarve had a tendency to develop earth tremors whenever I pointed a camera in M16's direction. Forget autoguiding with a CCD camera - I do it the hard way, and an earth tremor makes a convenient excuse for getting it completely wrong. The image I finally captured was 'first light' for my digital camera, followed later by another, slightly better for having had a bit more practice.