30 Distinctive features in the image Many more stars are apparent in the IR Several small knots (red markers) are seen completely or nearly separated from the main body of the pillar feature. As the gas and dust are eroded and evaporated from the nebula, denser areas remain as islands, some of which may have enough density to collapse into stars. At the top of one of the sub-pillars there appears to be a proto-stellar jet (yellow marker), the signature of early star formation. Jets appear in many star-forming regions such as this, sometimes apparent in visible light, sometimes only appearing in the IR. Higher resolution (JWST) imaging or spectroscopy would be needed to confirm that this is a jet. Many galaxies (green markers) appear in the IR image, which are totally obscured in visible light. We can conclude that this region of space is much more transparent at infrared wavelengths. Filaments of gas (blue markers) appear to be streaming from the surface of the denser portion of the pillar. The hot stars sculpting the material are heating and evaporating the gas and dust at the surface, and this material is moving away from the denser material, possibly under the influence of magnetic fields.
31 Hubble Heritage Zolt Levay Carol Christian Lisa Frattare Mario Livio Jennifer Mack Max Mutchler Shelly Meyett Keith Noll Josh Sokol