Pillars of Creation Revealed in 3-D

3-D visualization of Pillars of Creation

Using the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) instrument on European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT), astronomers have produced the first complete three-dimensional view of the Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula, Messier 16, made famous in an image from NASA/ESA’s Hubble Space Telescope.

The new observations demonstrate how the different dusty pillars of this iconic object are distributed in space and reveal many new details — including a previously unseen jet from a young star. Intense radiation and stellar winds from the cluster’s brilliant stars have sculpted the dusty Pillars of Creation over time and should fully evaporate them in about three million years.

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