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Astron. Astrophys. 333, L9-L12 (1998)

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Letter to the Editor

ISOCAM images of the `elephant trunks' in M 16 *

Göran , L. , Pilbratt 1, Bruno , Altieri 2, Joris , A.D.L. , Blommaert 2, C.V. , Malcolm , Fridlund 1, Jan , A. , Tauber 1, Martin , F. and Kessler 2

1 ESA Astrophysics Division, Space Science Department, ESTEC, P.O. Box 299, 2200 AG Noordwijk, The Netherlands
2 ISO Science Operations Centre, ESA Astrophysics Division, VILSPA, P.O. Box 50727, E-28080 Madrid, Spain

Received 13 November 1997 / Accepted 24 February 1998


We have used ISOCAM to obtain images of the `elephant trunks' in the M 16 `Eagle nebula' in the two broadband filters LW2 (5-8.5 µm) and LW3 (12-18 µm). These pillars are clearly seen in both our filters, their emission has a colour temperature in the range 250-320 K.

We have also detected bright extended emission in the LW3 filter, in an area outside the `elephant trunks', and with no LW2 counterpart.

We report the detection of a deeply embedded source, presumably connected with M16-E31, which we identify as a YSO. However, to our levels of angular resolution and sensitivity we cannot, in general, correlate discrete sources with the EGGs discovered by the HST. Our observations are consistent with a relatively low level of ongoing low-mass star formation, a fact which may be related to disk disruption taking place at early times in M 16.

Key words: Stars: formation – ISM: clouds – ISM: individual objects: M 16 – Infrared: ISM: continuum

* Based on observations with ISO, an ESA project with instruments funded by ESA Member States (especially the PI countries: France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) with the participation of ISAS and NASA.

Send offprint requests to: gpilbratt@astro.estec.esa.nl

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: April 15, 1998