“Pillars of Creation”: a ghostly image of interstellar dust revealed by the James Webb telescope

“Pillars of Creation”: a ghostly image of interstellar dust revealed by the James Webb telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope unveils a new snapshot of the Pillars of Creation, columns of interstellar dust. An image that gives free rein to the most mysterious thoughts.

The scene seems unreal. The James Webb Space Telescope has just captured an image of the “pillars of creation”, already photographed in 1995 by the Hubble telescope. Located 6,500 light-years away in the Eagle Nebula, the columns are made of interstellar dust.

Stars in formation

The dust and structure of the “pillars of creation” revealed.
NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI; Joseph DePasquale (STScI), Alyssa Pagan (STScI)

With this photograph in mid-infrared light, a whole new perspective of the scene stands before our eyes. This region of space hosts young stars in formation, recalls CNN which relays the cliche. Proto-stars, a phase of star formation, are visible: these are the glowing red orbs.

The age of these young stars is estimated at a few hundred thousand years. Their complete formation should take several million years. This new image of our universe will allow scientists around the world to better understand the process of star formation. The “mid-infrared” technology used by James Webb allows him to spot details in the gas and dust of the pillars and their surroundings that were not visible before.

When imagination takes over

On social networks, Internet users have not failed to compare the image to cinematic scenes. “They look like dementors”, we are ironized in particular on Twitter.

Others think they see “the foam horses of the Lord of the Rings” or even “the horsemen of the Apocalypse.” A photograph that triggers a poetic word in some. “There is a kind of melancholy and sadness with the dark side. Oh my god, I become a poet in front of this beauty. The universe is super beautiful and is just waiting for us to observe it and marvel”, tweets SpaceNerduino .

Looks like the photo goes with the Halloween theme. There is a kind of melancholy and sadness with the dark side. Oh my god, I become a poet in front of this beauty. The universe is super beautiful and is just waiting for us to observe it and marvel.

— SpaceNerduino (@snetmonster) October 28, 2022

Reminds me of the foam horses from Lord of the Rings

— Reluvethel (@reluvetel) October 28, 2022

I see the horsemen of the Apocalypse arise from nothing!

— SixReal (@the6ix) October 28, 2022