James Webb Telescope unveils a new view of the Pillars of Creation trends now

James Webb Telescope unveils a new view of the Pillars of Creation trends now
James Webb Telescope unveils a new view of the Pillars of Creation trends now

James Webb Telescope unveils a new view of the Pillars of Creation trends now

Almost 30 years ago the Pillars of Creation stunned the astronomy world when they were captured by NASA's famed Hubble Space Telescope.

Now a new generation can enjoy a fresh view of the haunting scene after the US space agency's $10 billion (£7.4 billion) super space telescope James Webb imaged the same finger-like tendrils of gas and dust.

Resembling a ghostly hand, the Pillars of Creation are part of the Eagle Nebula - which is 6,500 light-years away from Earth - and are known for being a source of star formation.

This week NASA and the European Space Agency revealed another look at the pillars from the sharp eyes of Webb. 

Beautiful: Almost 30 years ago the Pillars of Creation stunned the astronomy world when they were captured by NASA's famed Hubble Space Telescope. Now a new generation can enjoy a fresh view of the haunting scene after the US space agency's $10 billion (£7.4 billion) super space telescope James Webb imaged the same finger-like tendrils of gas and dust (pictured)

Beautiful: Almost 30 years ago the Pillars of Creation stunned the astronomy world when they were captured by NASA's famed Hubble Space Telescope. Now a new generation can enjoy a fresh view of the haunting scene after the US space agency's $10 billion (£7.4 billion) super space telescope James Webb imaged the same finger-like tendrils of gas and dust (pictured)

The first image of the Pillars of Creation was taken by Hubble in 1995. It provided the first evidence that stars could be birthed within the pillars

The first image of the Pillars of Creation was taken by Hubble in 1995. It provided the first evidence that stars could be birthed within the pillars

WHAT ARE THE PILLARS OF CREATION?

They are one of the most iconic space features ever to have been caught on camera.

The Pillars of Creation were first snapped by NASA's Hubble telescope back in 1995, then re-imaged in 2014.

Now, nearly 30 years on from our first view of the haunting formation, it has been imaged again by NASA's new super space telescope James Webb.

The Pillars of Creation, which are located 6,500 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Serpens, are part of the Eagle Nebula. 

They are known for being an important source of star formation.

Gas and dust in the claw-like tendrils lead to the birth of stars, including many that are very young and some that have now been imaged that are just a few 100,000 years old.

In Hubble's 1995 image, the blue colours represent oxygen, red is sulfur, and green both nitrogen and hydrogen. 

The pillars are bathed in the scorching ultraviolet light from a cluster of young stars located just outside the frame. 

The winds from these stars are slowly eroding the towers of gas and dust. 

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The latest image was taken in mid-infrared light, which blocks out the brightness of stars so it only captures the flowing gas and dust. This provided a new way of experiencing and understanding the stunning formation.

Webb has instruments that see in different wavelengths of infrared. 

In October, experts released a Pillars of Creation image from the Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam), before following that up with an image from its Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI).

They have now put the images together to produce a haunting image that features the best of both views, showcasing glowing edges of dust where young stars are beginning to form. 

NIRCam reveals newly-formed stars in orange outside the pillars, while MRI showcases the layers of dust in the formation. 

'This is one of the reasons why the region is overflowing with stars - dust is a major ingredient of star formation,' NASA said. 

The glowing red

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