For the first time, astronomers have added a new 3-D perspective for a dazzling image made by the Hubble Space Telescope, the famous Pillar of Creation Eagle nebula.
Using the MUSE tool of the European Southern Observatory of Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile, the Eagle Nebula was studied in previously unprecedented detail, giving astronomers the opportunity to make a 3-D perspective of large columns of dust and gases in which new stars originate.
This young population of B-class stars spews powerful ultraviolet radiation, destroying the remaining shreds of gas and dust, defining the shape of the Pillars of Creation, which were first displayed by the Hubble Space Telescope about 20 years ago.
Now MUSE has added some depth to the pillars, revealing what is in front of us, but behind the star cluster NGC 6611 in the Eagle Nebula. The other pillars are located in front of NGC 6611. The tip of the left pillar is exposed to the powerful radiation of a young star, making it glow brightly in reflected light. The tips of the three other pillars are turned away from us and, therefore, darker.
This color image was created based on the observations of the Pillars of Creation made by the MUSE tool of the European Southern Observatory Very Large Telescope. The parts of the three-dimensional MUSE data cube, which correspond to the emission of various chemical elements in the clouds, were extracted and combined to create this color image of the region.
In the columns there are dense gas nodes, in which there are protostars.
Using observations such as this ESO image in the Eagle Nebula, scientists hope to better understand how O- and B-class stars affect the production of subsequent stars in the nebula in which they themselves were born. Intense radiation and powerful stellar winds can compress the remaining gas, correlating it and creating a new star formation. But they also destroy the star formation material inside the nebula, preventing further star birth.
The process that prevails will determine the shape and further processes of star formation inside the nebula, so the 3-D perspective of the nebula should help us better understand the mechanisms of stellar evolution.