The Hubble Space Telescope's 1995
pillars of dust and gas, light-years long, within the Eagle
The three prominent pillars in
visible light picture also appear below center in
this wide-field mosaic
massive, bright, young stars of cluster NGC 6611 (upper right),
whose winds and radiation are shaping
the dusty pillars.
Made in near infrared light with the European Southern
Observatory's 8.2-meter Antu
telescope, this wide-field image
makes the pillars seem more transparent, as the
partially penetrate the obscuring dust.
While the Hubble image showed the pillars' startling surface
over 70 opaque, finger-shaped lumps of material
dubbed evaporating gaseous globules or
, the near
infrared view has allowed astronomers to peer inside.
Comparing the two views reveals that nearly a dozen of
the EGGs do indeed have stars
near their tips.
More stars within EGGs may be detected if longer wavelength
observations of the region are made.But which
came first, the stars or the EGGs?
Credit: Mark McCaughrean and Morten Andersen