The Eagle nebula is 6,500 light years from Earth, in the constellation Serpens, and is part of the astronomical object listed as M16, that is, object 16 of the Messier catalog. M16 is composed of the nebula and an open star cluster that is associated with it, and which is listed as NGC 6611.
The NGC6611 is a hot young star cluster, which can be seen even with amateur telescopes. Around it, it sculpts and illuminates the gas and dust, giving rise to gigantic hollow formations with the appearance of a column, each one with several light years of extension.
We are talking about the spectacular Pillars of the Creation of the Eagle Nebula, whose image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995 became an icon of the twentieth century. Currently, two ESA (European Space Agency) space telescopes continue to provide new data on this enigmatic area of the Universe. This is the case of the Herschel space telescope, which at far infrared wavelengths allows astronomers to see inside the structures.
The name given to these colossal columns of the Eagle nebula, the Pillars of Creation, is due to the fact that young stars are born in this cloud of gases. In return, a good number of stars also die, although their remains are again part of new stars.
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