The Pillars of Creation: One of the most iconic pictures of Hubble

If you know about the Hubble Space Telescope, you might have heard about the Pillars of Creation. In late 2014, the Hubble Space Telescope scanned an iconic emission nebula known as Messier 16 or the Eagle Nebula. At the heart of the nebula lie 3 pillars of gas and dust, light-years tall and giving birth to new stars. These pillars are known as the Pillars of Creation.

This is Hubble’s iconic picture known as the Pillars Of Creation was taken in late 2014. The picture shows tall elephant trunks of eroded gas and dust. The tallest pillar is approximately 4 light-years tall. (Image Credit: Nasa.gov)

The pillars were first photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995 with its Wide-Field Planetary Camera 2. The pillars were observed once again in late 2014 with its more advanced Wide-Field Camera 3. This time with its higher resolution, the new image provided better detail with a sharper and wider view, revealing the base of the pillars and more of the region surrounding the pillars. The Hubble Space Telescope has also photographed the pillars in near-infrared light. Near-infrared light can peer through thick gas and dust revealing more stars in the nebula, just like you see in the image below of the Pillars of Creation in infrared. The pillars are shaped by the intense radiation from nearby stars. They are bathed in intense ultraviolet radiation from nearby massive stars.

The Pillars Of Creation in Infrared light (Image Credit: Nasa.gov)
A comparison of the photos of the Pillars of Creation taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995 and 2015. As you can see, the picture taken by the telescope in 2015 has more detail and a wider view. (Image Credit: ESAHubble.org)

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