The Pillars of Creation
The hidden gem of the Eagle Nebula
The Pillars of Creation in 2014
In celebration of the upcoming 25th anniversary, astronomers assembled a bigger and sharper photograph of the Pillars of Creation which was unveiled January 2015, at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle. The image was photographed by the Hubble Telescope which has since received upgraded optics, and produced using near-infrared and visible light exposure
As amazing as the new image looks, perhaps just as interesting is the fact that what people are looking at now, in high-definition, may not actually exist anymore. According to data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, the pillars may have actually collapsed some 6,000 years ago after a star exploded. The only reason we are able to see the pillars at all is because of how far away they are from Earth.
So who created these stunning pictures
The astronomers responsible for assembling the photo were Jeff Hester and Paul Scowen
So what exactly are the pillars made of?
The pillars are composed of molecular hydrogen and dust that are being eroded by photoevaporation from the ultraviolet light of relatively close and hot stars. The leftmost pillar is about 4 light years in length.The finger-like protrusions at the top of the clouds are larger than our solar system