Friday, July 20, 2012

Hubble Image: The Eagle Has Risen

This spectacular image of a stellar spire in the Eagle Nebula was taken by Hubble.  Its beauty is stunning; the flagrant use of color, shadow and light creates an image that is more question than answer.  It lingers on the screen in a splatter of uneasy form.  It speaks to the wonder that is the universe, and somehow, it brings a connection of both time and distance.  It relates both near and far, the universe and humanity in a mosaic of pixels.  It is real and unreal at once.  It truly is beauty.

The NASA website states the following:
Appearing like a winged fairy-tale creature poised on a pedestal, this object is actually a billowing tower of cold gas and dust rising from a stellar nursery called the Eagle Nebula. The soaring tower is 9.5 light-years or about 57 trillion miles high, about twice the distance from our Sun to the next nearest star.

Stars in the Eagle Nebula are born in clouds of cold hydrogen gas that reside in chaotic neighborhoods, where energy from young stars sculpts fantasy-like landscapes in the gas. The tower may be a giant incubator for those newborn stars. A torrent of ultraviolet light from a band of massive, hot, young stars [off the top of the image] is eroding the pillar.
For the rest of the story click here.

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