The orbiting observatories of the European Space Agency (ESA) have captured beautiful, awe-inspiring images of the so-called "pillars of creation", the gas pillars in the Eagle Nebula, which is located in the constellation of Serpens (6500 light-years away from us). These pillars had been photographed by the Hubble telescope almost 20 years ago, but the definition was not as great as that in these new pictures. Now, hot young stars, previously suspected of being there, can be seen as bright dots in the center. By using several infrared wavelengths, visible range, and X-ray, different parts of the nebula can be seen: stars, dust, gas pillars, and astronomers to better understand the lifecycle of stars. Go to the link for more beautiful images.
Two of the European Space Agency's (ESA) orbiting observatories have captured new and spectacular views of the gas pillars in the Eagle Nebula (M16) that were the subject of the iconic 1995 Hubble images dubbed "Pillars of Creation."
In 1995, the Hubble Space Telescope's 'Pillars of Creation' image of the Eagle Nebula became one of the most iconic images of the 20th century. Now, two of ESA's orbiting observatories --Stunning new Herschel and XMM-Newton-- have revealed new insights this enigmatic star-forming region.
The pillars are only a small portion of the extensive nebulous region imaged in far-infrared by ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory, which shows cool dust and gas tendrils being carved away by the hot stars seen in the X-ray image from XMM-Newton. The wide-field optical image from the ESO MPG telescope puts the pillars into context against the full scale of the nebula, which is over 75 light-years across.
The Eagle Nebula is 6500 light-years away in the constellation of Serpens. It contains a young hot star cluster, NGC6611, visible with modest back-garden telescopes, that is sculpting and illuminating the surrounding gas and dust, resulting in a huge hollowed-out cavity and pillars, each several light-years long.
The Hubble image hinted at new stars being born within the pillars, deeply inside small clumps known as 'evaporating gaseous globules' or EGGs. Owing to obscuring dust, Hubble's visible light picture was unable to see inside and prove that young stars were indeed forming. The ESA Herschel Space Observatory's new image shows the pillars and the wide field of gas and dust around them. Captured in far-infrared wavelengths, the image allows astronomers to see inside the pillars and structures in the region.
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The Teebow Nebula.
Michel, you took the more pragmatic view !!!!!
This is art ...