RICHARD BIZLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RICHARD BIZLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Starbirth region. Artwork of pillars of gas and dust rising up from a large nebula where stars are being formed. Current star formation is seen at centre (red, with protoplanetary disc), and lower right (star shining through the nebula). The pillars and columns are shaped by radiation pressure from nearby stars. Under the right sort of conditions, they may collapse to form new stars and planetary systems. Pillars like this have been observed in nearby nebulae, such as the Orion Nebula.
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