The Eagle Nebula (M16): Peering Into the Pillars of Creation (A nearby star-forming region about 7,000 light years from Earth.)

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Description: A composite image of the Eagle Nebula (M16) with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope penetrates the dark columns of gas and dust to reveal how much star formation is happening there. The Chandra data (red, green, and blue represent low, medium, and high-energy X-rays respectively) show very few X-ray sources in the so-called "Pillars of Creation" themselves. This indicates that star formation peaked in this region several million years ago.

Creator/Photographer: Chandra X-ray Observatory

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, which was launched and deployed by Space Shuttle Columbia on July 23, 1999, is the most sophisticated X-ray observatory built to date. The mirrors on Chandra are the largest, most precisely shaped and aligned, and smoothest mirrors ever constructed. Chandra is helping scientists better understand the hot, turbulent regions of space and answer fundamental questions about origin, evolution, and destiny of the Universe. The images Chandra makes are twenty-five times sharper than the best previous X-ray telescope. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls Chandra science and flight operations from the Chandra X-ray Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Medium: Chandra telescope x-ray

Date: 2001

Persistent URL:

Repository: Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

Collection: Normal Stars and Star Clusters Collection

Gift line: X-ray: NASA/CXC/U.Colorado/Linsky et al.; Optical: NASA/ESA/STScI/ASU/J.Hester & P.Scowen.

Accession number: m16

DarkWing, TanukiGo, and 373 other people added this photo to their favorites.

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  1. johnb/Derbys/UK. 77 months ago | reply

    bril stuff,awesome but ive got some like old photos long gone family boar war etc anybody know how to get them on?

  2. t8contempo 77 months ago | reply

    What is 7000 Light years? It isn't even humanly possible to understand the magnitude of this number. 7000 light years is a distance. Light travels 186,000 miles in one second. How many seconds in a year....?? Let's calculate. 60 seconds per minute, 60 minutes per hour, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. There are 31,536,000 seconds in a year. In 7000 years there are 220,752,000,000 seconds. That is 2.21 times 10 to the 11th power seconds. If Light travels 186,000 miles in each of those seconds, the distance is 41,059,872,000,000,000 miles. That is how far the light traveled to the lens of this telescope. The light captured for this photograph was emitted 7000 years ago!

  3. ReginaR87 [deleted] 76 months ago | reply


  4. Daniel_Beaman_Photo_Media 76 months ago | reply

    I shot from my back porch with my Nikon D700 at ISO 25600 handheld at 1 20th of a second.
    what are you talking about t8contempo?

  5. jrtrep 76 months ago | reply

    Wow... It's just beautiful.

  6. jjgg77 76 months ago | reply

    God and Jesus are amazing! Glory Be to His Wisdom and Power,!!!

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called In The Love of The Father,Jesus, Mary, Saints and Angels, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

  7. mistymisschristie 76 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Excellent Photographer Awards ADMIN INVITE only / Post1/ Award3, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

  8. thesqueedler 76 months ago | reply

    Thanks to Smithsonian Institution for posting this famous picture, especially the high resolution. It has been one of my all-time favorite space photos since it was first published. Wonderful imaging work, both by Hubble and the compositor.

  9. Monica Podda 75 months ago | reply

    wow! incredible, wonderful!

    I am ecstatic!

  10. starlitskies 75 months ago | reply

    Simply magical !

  11. Jim of JimOnLight 75 months ago | reply

    Oh, this is beautiful. It looks as if it's "living rock."

    I'm an admin for a group called Jim On Light, the Flickr Group, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

  12. P@NDER 70 months ago | reply


  13. duiceburger 67 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called NASA - Public Domain, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

  14. avarummage 63 months ago | reply

    disco nebula

  15. mogose41 59 months ago | reply

    Good Nebula

  16. BradleyH123 44 months ago | reply

    Jut below the top of the middle pillar, there's a red devil-looking face. Spooky

  17. Dr. Strangelove Fan 21 months ago | reply

    And people still think that evolution did all this...gads...

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