First snapped by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995, the ‘Pillars of Creation’ remains one of the best known and visually impressive astronomical images of the modern age.
Its name is a reference to its significance as a place where new stars are still being born – a stellar nursery located in the Eagle Nebula at a distance of around 7,000 light years from the Earth.
Each of its towering columns, which measure up to 5 light years across, are comprised of clouds of gas and dust bathed in the ultraviolet light of a nearby star cluster.
Now scientists have released a new updated version of the image – this time in infrared light.
While the pillars themselves are not as prominent, the image peers through the gas and dust to reveal the stars behind, as well as some of the infant stars that formed only recently, relatively speaking.
In total, the entire nebula is believed to be up to 70 light years across.
The image serves as a humbling reminder of the beauty and grandeur of the cosmos.