Pillars of Creation: Womb of Stars

NASA has released an image this week to commemorate the Hubble Space Telescope’s 100,000 orbit. This nebula, imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope on August 10, is about 170,000 light-years away.

“The image reveals dramatic ridges and valleys of dust, serpent-head ‘pillars of creation,’ and gaseous filaments glowing fiercely under torrential ultraviolet radiation. The region is on the edge of a dark molecular cloud that is an incubator for the birth of new stars. The high-energy radiation blazing out from clusters of hot young stars is sculpting the wall of the nebula by slowly eroding it away. Another young cluster may be hidden beneath a circle of brilliant blue gas. In this approximately 100-light-year-wide fantasy-like landscape, dark towers of dust rise above a glowing wall of gases on the surface of the molecular cloud. The seahorse-shaped pillar at lower, right is approximately 20 light-years long, roughly four times the distance between our sun and the nearest star, Alpha Centauri. The region is in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite of our Milky Way galaxy. It is a fascinating laboratory for observing star-formation regions and their evolution. Dwarf galaxies like the Large Magellanic Cloud are considered to be the primitive building blocks of larger galaxies.”

You might also want to check out the The First Universe of Galaxies Map.

3 responses to “Pillars of Creation: Womb of Stars

  1. It’s so beautiful almost surreal.

  2. Is this picture available somewhere without the data in the corner? That kind of disqualifies it as a desktop background🙂

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