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These eerie, pillar-like structures are located over 7,000 light years from Earth. They are actually columns of cool interstellar hydrogen gas and dust where new stars are formed. They are part of the "Eagle Nebula" (also called M16 -- the 16th object in Charles Messier's 18th century catalog of "fuzzy" objects that aren't comets). The tallest pillar is about a light-year long from base to tip! The picture was taken on April 1, 1995 with the Hubble Space Telescope. The colors come from light emission from different types of atoms. The Red color comes from emissions by sulfur atoms, Green from hydrogen and Blue from doubly-ionized Oxygen atoms. Photo used with permission from NASA.

Star Dust - in the Eagle Nebula by NASA
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