The Pillars of Creation (Eagle Nebula, or Messier 16) are a stellar nursery, composed of gas and dust slowly eaten away by massive stars that are off the far to the upper right corner of this image. The pillars are about 5 light-years tall in this image. Streamers of gas can be seen floating from the giant structures as intense radiation heats and evaporates them into space. Stars are being born inside the pillars due to the gas compressed into collapse by the powerful winds from the massive star cluster. The pillars are slowly being eroded but continue jutting out into the cleared region.
The first Hubble image shows the Pillars in visible light capturing the silhouette of the dark cloud. The second Hubble image shows the Pillars in the near-infrared light where the dust now appears transparent. This reveals the stars within and behind the cloud. The infrared. blue-colored glow shows the edges of the cloud that are partly illuminated by the stars that surround them. The yellow-color captures the dusty stars that are obscured in the visible light image.
Publication: November 26, 2018