Space & Astronomy
NASA captures 'haunting' image of the Pillars of Creation
By T.K. Randall
October 29, 2022 · 4 comments
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI; Joseph DePasquale (STScI), Alyssa Pagan (STScI)
The space agency has been getting into the Halloween spirit with this latest image from the James Webb Space Telescope.
Like a ghoulish hand reaching for the stars, this fascinating image shows a region of space known as the Pillars of Creation - a stellar nursery located in the Eagle Nebula around 7,000 light years away.
Each of its towering columns, which measure up to 5 light years across, are comprised of clouds of gas and dust from which countless stars have been forged over the eons.
"This is not an ethereal landscape of time-forgotten tombs," NASA writes.
"Nor are these soot-tinged fingers reaching out."
"These pillars, flush with gas and dust, enshroud stars that are slowly forming over many millennia. NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has snapped this eerie, extremely dusty view of the Pillars of Creation in mid-infrared light - showing us a new view of a familiar landscape."
"Why does mid-infrared light set such a somber, chilling mood in Webb's Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) image? Interstellar dust cloaks the scene. And while mid-infrared light specializes in detailing where dust is, the stars aren't bright enough at these wavelengths to appear. Instead, these looming, leaden-hued pillars of gas and dust gleam at their edges, hinting at the activity within."
First captured by the Hubble Space Telescope back in 1995, the Pillars of Creation remain one of the most awe-inspiring and humbling astronomical spectacles ever caught on camera.
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