NASA's James Webb Telescope just unveiled an image of the Pillars of Creation

Newly formed stars are real show-stoppers from Webb's NIRCam.
Stephen Vicinanza
Pillars of Creation 2
Pillars of Creation 2


NASA's James Webb Telescope offers a lush and highly detailed view of the iconic Pillars of Creations. The place where new stars are forming in dense clouds of gas and dust. The pillars are revealed in 3D with a majestic rock looking formation, but in reality are more permeable. The column s of formed from interstellar gases and dust that are cool that appear at times to be semi-transparent in near-infrared light.

NASA's James Webb Telescope just unveiled an image of the Pillars of Creation
Pillars of Creation 2

The first ever view of the Pillars of Creation were first taken from Hubble Space Telescope in 1995. Webb's new view will help scientists to revamp the earlier models of this star formation, with precise star counts and remeasured quantities of gas and dust.

A truly riveting spectacle.

This is currently a developing story. We have now updated the story below:

Scene Stealers

Newly formed stars are scene-stealers, from the images by the Webb telescope NIRCam (Near Infrared Camera). These are the bright orbs that have diffraction spikes and lie outside the dusty pillars. When clumps of gas and dust knot up and become dense, they eventually collapse under their own gravity, slowly heat up, and become a new star.

Young stars are shooting jets

The wavy lines that are formed at the edges of the pillar that look like lava are ejections from the stars that are forming within the gas and dust. These supersonic jets are shot from the newly forming stars and collide with the clouds of material, like thick pillars. This causes bow shocks, plowing up cloudy material, in a wavy pattern, similar to how a boat does as it's bow moves through water.

Lively hydrogen molecules

The crimson glow is from the energetic hydrogen molecules that result from the jets and shocks. It is most evident in the second and third pillars from the top. The NIRCam is picking up these colors strongly, almost pulsing with their activity.

These stars are approximated to be only a few hundred thousand years old. Very young in star age reckoning.

It seems to be transparent

It appears that NIRCam is piercing through the pillars, and viewing cosmic distances and far distant galaxies. This is not the case, there are no galaxies in this image. Instead a mix of translucent gas and dust known as interstellar medium in the densest part of our Milky Way galaxy's disk blocks the deeper view of the universe.

Other observers

The first images of this show stopping scene were taken by Hubble in 1995 and then revisited in 2014 but many observatories have stared at this region in deep thought over its presence. Each of those advanced instruments offer researchers new details about this region, as it overflows with stars.

6,500 light-years away

This very tightly cropped image of the Pillars of Creation is located in the Eagle Nebula, which lies 6,500 light-years away.

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