The Pillars of Creation

CosmicStyles

Joined August 2016

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Artist's Description

The Pillars of Creation, part of the Eagle Nebula, a vast star-forming region 6,500 light-years from Earth. These towering pillars about are 5 light-years tall and are bathed in blistering ultraviolet light from a grouping of young, massive stars located off the top of the image. Streamers of gas can be seen bleeding off the pillars as the intense radiation heats and evaporates it into space. Denser regions of the pillars are shadowing material beneath them from the powerful radiation. Stars are being born deep inside the pillars, which are made of cold hydrogen gas laced with dust.

Astronomers combined several Hubble exposures to assemble the wider view. The mage was taken with Hubble’s versatile and sharp-eyed Wide Field Camera 3.

The colors in the image highlight emission from several chemical elements. Oxygen emission is blue, sulfur is orange, and hydrogen and nitrogen are green.

Object Names: M16, Eagle Nebula, NGC 6611

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