Hubble Goes High Def to Revisit the Iconic 'Pillars of Creation'

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    This NASA Hubble Space Telescope image, taken in near-infrared light, transforms the pillars into eerie, wispy silhouettes, which are seen against a background of myriad stars.

    The near-infrared light can penetrate much of the gas and dust, revealing stars behind the nebula as well as hidden away inside the pillars. Some of the gas and dust clouds are so dense that even the near-infrared light cannot penetrate them. New stars embedded in the tops of the pillars, however, are apparent as bright sources that are unseen in the visible image.

    The ghostly bluish haze around the dense edges of the pillars is material getting heated up by the intense ultraviolet radiation from a cluster of young, massive stars and evaporating away into space. The stellar grouping is above the pillars and cannot be seen in the image. At the top edge of the left-hand pillar, a gaseous fragment has been heated up and is flying away from the structure, underscoring the violent nature of star-forming regions.

    Astronomers used filters that isolate the light from newly formed stars, which are invisible in the visible-light image. At these wavelengths, astronomers are seeing through the pillars and even through the back wall of the nebula cavity and can see the next generations of stars just as they're starting to emerge from their formative nursery.

    Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

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    NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.

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    Siderola, Colin Kavanagh, and 1921 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 20 more comments

    1. TranscendentalAccidentalism 51 months ago | reply

      if "God" made something in ITS image .. I think this would be closer, but still only a part.

    2. Greg Collins Fine Art 51 months ago | reply

      Absolutely incredible! Astounding! Amazing! Wonderful!

    3. maineman152 (Lou) 51 months ago | reply

      Just look at all those Sun's out there, now imagine how many planets there must be OUT THERE ! (:>)

    4. drburtoni 51 months ago | reply

      Hubble is such a good photographer... :))

    5. Galilla S 51 months ago | reply

      Wondrous, truly astounding!

    6. Patlees 51 months ago | reply

      Amazing photo!

    7. Dai333 51 months ago | reply

      I need to get one of those Hubbles !

    8. jjanrunefranson 51 months ago | reply

      Woow i Will GO the Milkyway . So Nice.

    9. yazmingonzalez421 51 months ago | reply

      ! que impresionante!

    10. MBeck0903 51 months ago | reply

      It's full of stars...pretty amazing. Hubble's still going strong.

    11. mystee_reyne 51 months ago | reply

      Wow you can see so many more stars.

    12. stacy metcalf 50 months ago | reply

      amazing and thought provoking discoveries...

    13. yazmingonzalez421 50 months ago | reply

      ! extraordinario la grandeza de Dios!

    14. Kethav 50 months ago | reply

      Hi, I have a problem with the details: If I choose to "follow" then the details are lost. If I click on "do not follow" details of the picture reappear. Is only a problem of me?

    15. Evan.L. 45 months ago | reply

      Holy cannoli!

    16. SusanVanDusan 45 months ago | reply

      Incredible capture! One of the best photos ever! Thank you for sharing this gem and keeper!

    17. tom sakurai 36 months ago | reply

      It's full of stars...pretty amazing

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