When it comes to naming stars and galaxies, we've been a little hit-and-miss. Cl 0024+17? Deer Lick Group? Seyfert's Sextet? (I'm not making this up.) But whoever named the Pillars Of Creation did a fantastic job — and two decades ago, the iconic Hubble Telescope image of the Pillars Of Creation became one of the greats, appearing on everything from postage stamps to memes. What's better than that? The badder, better photograph that Hubble just took of the same, um, columns of cold gas.
Cold gas, you ask? Let's let NASA explain.
The jaw-dropping photo, taken in 1995, revealed never-before-seen details of three giant columns of cold gas bathed in the scorching ultraviolet light from a cluster of young, massive stars in a small region of the Eagle Nebula, or M16.
Believe it or not, NASA is pretty sassy when it comes to new Hubble photos. Don't believe me? From its news release in November:
Researchers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory have uncovered young, massive, compact galaxies whose raucous star-making parties are ending early.
Yes, NASA, we get it. You minx.
Anyway, back to the Pillars Of Creation. Sad to say, they are not the pillars of all creation — specifically, the cold gas and dust in the photo are in the process of making brand-new stars. Here's the original photo...
And here's the updated version, because we're in the 20th century now, guuuys.
You haven't aged a bit, Pillars Of Creation.
Images: NASA, Jeff Hester, and Paul Scowen (Arizona State University), NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)/J. Hester, P. Scowen (Arizona State U.)