The Eagle Nebula is a stellar nursery: a place where new stars are born. It’s about 7,000 light years away from Earth (for comparison, the nearest star to our sun is about four light years away). The Eagle Nebula contains three enormous pillars (a few light years high), growing like stalagmites from the floor of a cave. These are called the Pillars of Creation.

These pillars are made from gas and dust left over from the Big Bang and thrown out from previous generations of stars as they died. In this photo, the pillars are being shaped and recycled into the next generation of stars. They’re incubators for stars!

Originally, this part of the Eagle Nebula was a giant shapeless cloud of cool hydrogen gas and dust. But then, a nearby giant star blasted into existence just outside of this photo, up at the top right. The hot young star blasted out huge amounts of charged particles and ultraviolet radiation. These blew away most of the giant cloud, which exposed the three dense pillars.

Emerging from the outside of the pillars are 73 small dense ‘blobs’, called Evaporating Gaseous Globules, or EGGs. About a dozen of the EGGs will have baby stars inside them!

Likes

LEAVE A COMMENT

THANK YOU

While you wait for it to be checked and approved why not to add a pre-selected message and a cool badge

WELL DONE,
YOUR COMMENT
HAS BEEN ADDED!

COMMENTS

1

Space

Science with Dr Karl: Future space travel

Space travel with Dr Karl
Space

10 Facts about Space!

They’re out of this world, gang!
Space

NASA’s Curiosity Rover spots a ‘mouse’ on Mars!

Are there really rodents on the red planet?
General Science

Facts about the Earth

Learn all about our amazing planet…