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This is just a small portion of one of the largest seen star-birth regions in the galaxy, the Carina Nebula. Towers of cool hydrogen laced with dust rise from the wall of the nebula. The scene is reminiscent of Hubble’s classic “Pillars of Creation” photo from 1995, but is even more striking in appearance. The image captures the top of a three-light-year-tall pillar of gas and dust that is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby bright stars. The pillar is also being pushed apart from within, as infant stars buried inside it fire off jets of gas that can be seen streaming from towering peaks like arrows sailing through the air.

These two images of a three-light-year-high pillar of star birth demonstrate how observations taken in visible and infrared light by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope reveal dramatically different and complementary views of an object.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)

“Mystic Mountain” A Pillar of Gas and Dust in the Carina Nebula

Hubble’s 20th anniversary image shows a mountain of dust and gas rising in the Carina Nebula. The top of a three-light-year tall pillar of cool hydrogen is being worn away by the radiation of nearby stars, while stars within the pillar unleash jets of gas that stream from the peaks.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)

Stardust

Light and Shadow in the Carina Nebula

Previously unseen details of a mysterious, complex structure within the Carina Nebula (NGC 3372) are revealed by this image of the ‘Keyhole Nebula, ’ obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope. The picture is a montage assembled from four different April 1999 telescope pointings with Hubble’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, which used six different colour filters.

The picture is dominated by a large, approximately circular feature, which is part of the Keyhole Nebula, named in the 19th century by Sir John Herschel. This region, about 8000 light-years from Earth, is located adjacent to the famous explosive variable star Eta Carinae, which lies just outside the field of view toward the upper right. The Carina Nebula also contains several other stars that are among the hottest and most massive known, each about 10 times as hot, and 100 times as massive, as our Sun.

Credit: NASA/ESA, The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI)
Source: http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/opo0006a/

flickr

A Great Big Slab of Night Sky: Eta Carina, Running Chicken, Coal Sack Southern Cross, Jewel Box and the Two Pointers - April 18, 2007 by Joseph Brimacombe
Via Flickr:
Taken from Erldunda Station with a Canon 20D camera and F/1.2 85-mm lens at F/3.5 on a Losmondy G11 Mount. Ten frames; each frame 5 x 5 min stacked images.