Hubble Gives Us Our Best View Yet Of The “Pillars of Creation”

Lights in the Dark

Hubble's newest visible-light image of the Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)Hubble’s newest visible-light image of the Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its launch this year and to commemorate the milestone it’s recently turned its gaze (during the course of about 15 orbits) back onto one of the most iconic targets of its career: the “Pillars of Creation,” five-light-year-high columns of cold gas in the process of being sculpted by the winds from hot young stars in the Eagle Nebula (M16), some 6,500 light-years away.

Previously imaged with Hubble in 1995, the Pillars really shine (no pun intended) in this new high-definition image acquired with the telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3, which was installed in May 2009 during STS-125, NASA’s final servicing mission for Hubble.

And in addition to visible-light* wavelengths Hubble’s WFC3 captured the Pillars in infrared as well, which pierces the dense…

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