A close-up look at the peak of one of these "pillars of creation" reveals unequivocal evidence that stars are being born inside the columns. A pencil-like streamer of gas shoots out in both directions from the pillar and plows into surrounding gas like a fire hose hitting a wall of sand. The jet is being launched from a newly forming star hidden inside the column. A similar jet appears near the bottom of the image. These stellar jets are a common signature of the birth of a new star.
Credit for CTIO Image: N. Smith (University of California, Berkeley) and NOAO/AURA/NSF