The Eagle in 3D

3D data visualisation of the Pillars of CreationEagle_nebula_pillars smallMany of the Gentle Readers will remember the iconic image on the left of the Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula (aka Messier 16) made famous in a picture from the Hubble Space Telescope. Using the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer instrument on European Southern Observatory’s  Very Large Telescope, astronomers have produced the first complete three-dimensional view.

The VLT observations show how the different dusty pillars are distributed in space and reveal many new details, including a previously unknown jet from a young star. Intense radiation and stellar winds from the cluster’s brilliant stars have shaped the Pillars of Creation over time and will blow them away over the next three million years.

Image Credit: ESO

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