Pillars of Creation

"Pillars of Creation" is a photograph taken by the Hubble Telescope of elephant trunks of interstellar gas and dust in the Eagle Nebula, some 7,000 light years from Earth. They are so named because the gas and dust are in the process of forming, or creating, new stars, while also being eroded by the light from nearby stars that have recently formed. Taken April 1, 1995, it was named one of the top ten photographs from the Hubble by Space.com.
Images taken with the Spitzer Space Telescope uncovered a cloud of hot dust in the vicinity of the Pillars of Creation that one group interpreted to be a shock wave produced by a supernova. The appearance of the cloud suggests a supernova that would have been seen on Earth as exploding somewhere between 1000 and 2000 years ago, and will hit and destroy the pillars in another 1000 years. Given the distance of roughly 6000 light years to the Pillars of Creation, this would mean that they have actually already been destroyed, but because of the finite speed of light, this destruction is not yet visible on Earth, but should be visible in the next 1000 years.

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