Speaking of Cosmic Fairies …


fairypillar_hubble_900Tinker Bell is not the only one. Meet the Fairy of the Eagle Nebula. The dust sculptures of the Eagle Nebula are evaporating, and, as powerful starlight whittles away these cosmic structures, the pillars that remain remind some observers of mythical beasts. This fairy is ten light years tall and spews radiation. The Eagle Nebula (aka M16) is actually a giant evaporating shell of gas and dust filled with a stellar nursery that is forming an open cluster of stars. This false-color image was released in 2005 as part of the fifteenth anniversary celebration of the Hubble Space Telescope. (Click the image to embiggen it.)

Image Credit: NASA

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