Pillars of Creation and the Spire in the Eagle Nebula
Two beautiful images from the Hubble of some of the huge pillars within the Eagle Nebula (M16). These are regions where stars are forming in huge numbers, many much larger than the Sun. On the left is the famous picture of the "pillars of Creation", which are several light-years tall. On the right is the column called "the Spire"; it is about ten light-years tall. The nebula is about 7,000 light-years away, so we are seeing it as it was 7,000 years ago. It is about 70 by 55 light-years in size, and it is about 5.5 million years years old. Sadly, the Pillars were probably destroyed by a nearby supernova explosion some 6,000 years ago, so we will only be able to enjoy them for another thousand years as it will take the light from the modified nebula that much longer to reach us!