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Gas pillars in the Eagle Nebula

Gas pillars in the Eagle Nebula

R590/0049

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Credit

NASA / ESA / STSCI / J.HESTER & P.SCOWEN, ASU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / ESA / STSCI / J.HESTER & P.SCOWEN, ASU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Embryonic stars emerging from a nebula. Hubble Space Telescope image showing part of a pillar of dense molecular hydrogen and dust in the Eagle Nebula (M16). The 'fingers' emerging from the pillar contain small, very dense regions which are embryonic stars. These have been dubbed Evaporating Gaseous Globules, or EGGs. Ultraviolet light from nearby massive young stars evaporates gas from the pillar, creating the blue halo-like effect. The evaporation of the pillar limits the amount of gas and dust the EGGs may gather from their surroundings, and thus their final size. The Eagle Nebula is about 7000 light years from Earth.

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