Hubble telescope snaps new images of iconic stellar nursery

Eagle Nebula

Hubble's new view of the iconic Pillars of Creation, a star-forming region in the Milky Way, hints at how this region of the Eagle Nebula has changed during the last 20 years.

Hubble and the Hubble Heritage Team/NASA, ESA

The Hubble Space Telescope’s new view of the Pillars of Creation, a star-forming region in the Milky Way, is giving scientists a close look at how this iconic cosmic structure has changed over time.

Astronomers first used Hubble to snap detailed images of the pillars, which are part of the Eagle Nebula, in 1995. The nebula is 7,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Serpens. Now, a camera installed aboard Hubble in 2009 has taken another look at the region, revealing its glowing gases in greater detail.

The images below compare the new (left) and original (right) views of the Pillars of Creation. The new view was presented at the 225th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle and helps to kick off the celebrations of Hubble’s 25th year in orbit.

WFC3: Hubble and the Hubble Heritage Team/NASA, ESA; WFPC2: Hubble, STScI, J. Hester and P. Scowen (Arizona State Univ.)/NASA, ESA

Ashley Yeager is the associate news editor at Science News. She has worked at The Scientist, the Simons Foundation, Duke University and the W.M. Keck Observatory, and was the web producer for Science News from 2013 to 2015. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a master’s degree in science writing from MIT.

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