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January 9, 2015

The "Pillars of Creation" in Visible and Infrared Light


From Bruce Sterling:


"Pillars of Creation" is a photograph taken by the Hubble Telescope of elephant trunks of interstellar gas and dust in the Eagle Nebula, some 7,000 light years from Earth.

They are so named because the gas and dust are in the process of creating new stars, while also being eroded by photoevaporation from the ultraviolet light of relatively close and hot stars that have recently formed.


[via NASAESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AUR) via thedemon-hauntedworldhubblesite.org, and spaceplasma]

January 9, 2015 at 08:01 AM | Permalink


When this came through, a "centerfold" in Sky and Telescope 6 pages "long" was published. I hung it in the master bath for at least a year...

Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Jan 11, 2015 6:25:45 PM

Oh beautiful! I've spent som time the last days looking at pictures at hubblesite.org. Just a few days ago they published a new picture of the andromeda galaxy with the size 5,500x17,400 pixels. It's really amazing looking at that picture, because as you zoom in you first believe it's full of noise, and the you realise it's not noise, but millions of stars

Posted by: Pippi | Jan 11, 2015 1:49:06 AM

Fabulous post!

Wikipedia says the elephant trunks themselves are several light years long. That’s right, not several thousand feet but several LIGHT YEARS, which staggers me.

So humbling to realize that we can perceive such a small part of what exists, but uplifting that we can perceive as much as we do.

Posted by: Marianne | Jan 9, 2015 9:18:59 AM

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