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News Release 72 of 1039

January 5, 2015 05:15 PM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2015-01

Hubble Goes High Def to Revisit the Iconic 'Pillars of Creation'

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Image: 2014 Hubble WFC3/UVIS Image of M16

2014 Hubble WFC3/UVIS Image of M16STScI-PRC2015-01b

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ABOUT THIS IMAGE:

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 from Earth.

The colors in the image highlight emission from several chemical elements. Oxygen emission is blue, sulfur is orange, and hydrogen and nitrogen are green.

Object Names: M16, Eagle Nebula, NGC 6611

Image Type: Astronomical

Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

NEWS RELEASE IMAGES

The above image is part of a montage:

Montage Image: Hubble Revisits the Famous 'Pillars of Creation' to Celebrate 25th Anniversary Image Type: Astronomical/Annotated Hubble Revisits the Famous 'Pillars of Creation' to Celebrate 25th AnniversaryPRC2015-01a 1995 Hubble WFPC2 Image of M16 Image Type: Astronomical 1995 Hubble WFPC2 Image of M16

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