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Hubble Heritage Archive: The Eagle Nebula, M16, NGC 6611

1 Oct 2020, 12:00 UTC
Hubble Heritage Archive: The Eagle Nebula, M16, NGC 6611
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The text and images in this article were originally published on January 5, 2015, and reflect information about NGC 6611 available at that time.

Hubble Goes High Def to Revisit the Iconic ‘Pillars of Creation’

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has revisited the famous Pillars of Creation, revealing a sharper and wider view of the structures in this visible-light image. Astronomers combined several Hubble exposures to assemble the wider view. The towering pillars are about 5 light-years tall. The dark, finger-like feature at bottom right may be a smaller version of the giant pillars. The new image was taken with Hubble’s versatile and sharp-eyed Wide Field Camera 3. The pillars are bathed in the blistering ultraviolet light from a grouping of young, massive stars located off the top of the image. Streamers of gas can be seen bleeding off the pillars as the intense radiation heats and evaporates it into space. Denser regions of the pillars are shadowing material beneath them from the powerful radiation. Stars are being born deep inside the pillars, which are made of cold hydrogen gas laced with dust. The pillars are part of a small region of the Eagle Nebula, a vast star-forming region 6,500 light-years ...

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