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Gas pillars in the Eagle nebula

Gas pillars in the Eagle nebula

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Credit

JOHN FOSTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN FOSTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Gas pillar in the Eagle Nebula. Computer illus- tration based on a Hubble Space Telescope image showing a dark pillar of dense molecular hydrogen and dust in the Eagle Nebula (M16). Ultraviolet light from young stars evaporates gas from the 1 light-year long pillar, creating the blue halo- like effect. The small protrusions on the pillar contain globules of even denser gas which are embryonic stars; these have been dubbed Evaporating Gaseous Globules (EGGs). The evaporation of the pillar limits the amount of gas and dust which these embryonic stars can gather. The Eagle Nebula is about 7000 light years from Earth.

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