Astronomers have produced the first complete three-dimensional view of the famous Pillars of Creation.
Located in the Eagle Nebula, Messier 16, researchers used the MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) to take the stunning image.the European Space Agency,
The new observations show exactly how the different dusty pillars of this iconic object are distributed in space and reveal many new details — including a previously unseen jet from a young star.
THE PILLARS OF CREATION
- The original NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image of the famous Pillars of Creation was taken two decades ago and immediately became one of its most famous and evocative pictures.
- The jutting structures, along with the nearby star cluster, NGC 6611, are parts of a star formation region called the Eagle Nebula, also known as Messier 16 or M16.
- The nebula and its associated objects are located about 7000 light-years away in the constellation of Serpens (The Serpent).
Intense radiation and stellar winds from the cluster’s brilliant stars have sculpted the dusty Pillars of Creation over time and should fully evaporate them in about three million years.
‘The original NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image of the famous Pillars of Creation was taken two decades ago and immediately became one of its most famous and evocative pictures,’ said ESA.’
‘Since then, these billowing clouds, which extend over a few light-years, have awed scientists and the public alike.’
The jutting structures, along with the nearby star cluster, NGC 6611, are parts of a star formation region called the Eagle Nebula, also known as Messier 16 or M16.
The nebula and its associated objects are located about 7000 light-years away in the constellation of Serpens (The Serpent).
The columns arise when immense, freshly formed blue–white O and B stars give off intense ultraviolet radiation and stellar winds that blow away less dense materials from their vicinity.
Denser pockets of gas and dust, however, can resist this erosion for longer.
Behind such thicker dust pockets, material is shielded from the harsh, withering glare of O and B stars.
This shielding creates dark ‘tails’ or ‘elephant trunks’, which we see as the dusky body of a pillar, that point away from the brilliant stars.
MUSE has shown that the tip of the left pillar is facing us, atop a pillar that is is actually situated behind NGC 6611, unlike the other pillars.
This tip is bearing the brunt of the radiation from NGC 6611’s stars, and as a result looks brighter to our eyes than the bottom left, middle and right pillars, whose tips are all pointed away from our view.
Astronomers hope to better understand how young O and B stars like those in NGC 6611 influence the formation of subsequent stars.
Numerous studies have identified protostars forming in these clouds — they are indeed Pillars of Creation.
The new study also reports fresh evidence for two gestating stars in the left and middle pillars as well as a jet from a young star that had escaped attention up to now.
A colour composite of the Eagle Nebula (M 16), where the pillars of creation are located. The nebula and its associated objects are located about 7000 light-years away in the constellation of Serpens (The Serpent)
For more stars to form in environments like the Pillars of Creation, it is a race against time as intense radiation from the powerful stars that are already shining continues to grind away at the pillars.
By measuring the Pillars of Creation’s rate of evaporation, MUSE has given astronomers a time frame for when the pillars will be no more.
They shed about 70 times the mass of the Sun every million years or so.
Based on the their present mass of about 200 times that of the Sun, the Pillars of Creation have an expected lifetime of perhaps three million more years — an eyeblink in cosmic time.
It seems that an equally apt name for these iconic cosmic columns might be the Pillars of Destruction.
Source: Daily Mail
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For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:- 2 Peter 3:5 (KJV).
”..keep that which is avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith…” (1 Timothy 6:20-21 KJV).
Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:-Psalm 102:25-26 (KJV).
Skeptics/deists/atheists often throw up the Earth being set on pillars in 1 Sam 2:8, as supposedly proving that the Bible writers taught an unscientific theory. Here is a brief response to this nonsense:
“…For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, and he hath set the world upon them” – 1 Samuel 2:8 (KJV).
John Gill’s commentary , originally published 1766:
The earth has its foundations on which it is laid, and its pillars by which it is supported; but these are no other than the power and providence of God; otherwise the earth is hung upon nothing, in the open circumambient air: and that God can and does do this may well be thought, and to do all the above things in providence and grace, related in the preceding verses; in the support, and for the proof of which, this is observed. Figuratively, the pillars of the earth may design the princes of the world, the supreme rulers of it, and civil magistrates, who are sometimes called cornerstones, and the shields of the earth:
- Out of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every oppressor together – Zechariah 10:4 (KJV).
- The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted – Psalm 47:9
And so pillars, because they are the means of cementing, supporting, and protecting the people of the earth, and of preserving their peace and property. Likewise good men may be meant in a figurative sense, who, as they are the salt of the earth, are the pillars of it, for whose sake it was made, and is supported, and continued in being; the church is the pillar and ground of truth; and every good man is a pillar in the house of God, and especially ministers of the Gospel.
- Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which isnew Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name – Revelation 3:12 (KJV).
- But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.-1 Timothy 3:15 (KJV).
- And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should gounto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.- Galatians 2:9 (KJV)
- Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:-Proverbs 9:1 (KJV).
- Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:- Amos 5:8 (KJV).
It is clear that, in context, the reference is to the noble ones, princes, not the physical Earth. Immediately before, the context is people, and immediately after the context is also about people. It is quite clear that this is the meaning, as Gill points out (Ryrie’s Study Bible notes also say the same thing).
Compare Job 26:7 “He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.” This is in the context of descriptions of the physical creation and it is difficult to see how this statement could have a figurative meaning of any kind.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse – Romans 1:20 (KJV).
Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth – Isaiah 40:26 (KJV).
It is he that buildeth his stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth; he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The Lord is his name. – Amos 9:6 (KJV).
Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding – Isaiah 40:28 (KJV).
He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies- Psalm 18:11 (KJV).
Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne – Psalm 97:2 (KJV).
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork -Psalm 19:1 (KJV).
Which commandeth the sun, and it riseth not; and sealeth up the stars. Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea. Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south. Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number – Job 9:9-10 (KJV).
…”Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades, Or loose the cords of Orion?” Can you lead forth a constellation in its season, And guide the Bear with her satellites? “Do you know the ordinances of the heavens, Or fix their rule over the earth?…- Job 38:31-33