Pillars of Creation
These eerie, dark pillar-like structures are actually columns of cool interstellar hydrogen gas and dust that are also incubators for new stars. The pillars protrude from the interior wall of a dark molecular cloud. They are part of M16, the Eagle Nebula. The pillar on the left is about about 4 light-years long from base to tip. Because many new stars are being formed here, astronomers have nicknamed this image the "Pillars of Creation". The Eagle Nebula is a nearby star-forming region located about 6,500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Serpens.
NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)/J. Hester, P. Scowen (Arizona State U.)
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