Subject: Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula
From: Alex Kemp
Date: Wed, 07 Jan 2015 20:10:49 +0000
To: Oliver Kemp, Micaela Kemp, Liisa Kemp, Davin Kemp

Pillars of Creation, Eagle Nebula (Hubble Space Telescope)

There is an even higher resolution picture linked here:- and a choice of many here

The photo above is a new & better-resolution image of that taken by the Hubble Space Telescope 25 years ago (1990) (see the original here). The original image caused the whole world to become aware of the Hubble telescope - it made it famous. It seems impossible that this new image of the same structure within M16, Eagle Nebula, NGC 6611 could be better than the original, but it is.

Space fact 1:-

These structures are called "the Pillars of Creation" because, as clouds of interstellar dust, they are the source for new stars (which can be detected gathering & igniting within the clouds).

Space fact 2:-

The structures above almost certainly no longer exist. The infrared Spitzer telescope detected a supernova about 2,000 light years away from the Eagle Nebula (December 2007). As soon as the blast wave from that supernova hits the Pillars of Creation it may simply blow the dust away. Given all the distances involved, that has almost certainly already happened, but the light from it will not reach Earth until the next millennium. (2nd thought:- the supernova may instead be the trigger for a massive birth of new stars, as the blast wave could well cause compression waves within the dust which could trigger ignition).
Alex Kemp