Thursday, July 18, 2024

Astronomers Unveil Jaw-dropping New 3-D Movie of the Pillars of Creation (WATCH)

Views of the towering celestial structure Pillars of Creation from NASA’s Hubble and James Webb space telescopes

A team at NASA unveiled a jaw-dropping new visualization of the Pillars of Creation space formation.

Made famous after it was spotted in 1995 by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, the pillars, with their ethereal beauty form the heart of the Eagle Nebula.

The new 3D visualization also uses data from NASA’s more modern James Webb telescope to produce a detailed multi-wavelength movie of these towering star-birthing celestial structures—and it takes visitors into their three-dimensional structures, beyond the otherwise flat, two-dimensional images captured from telescopes.

“By flying past and amongst the pillars, viewers experience their three-dimensional structure and see how they look different in the Hubble visible-light view versus the Webb infrared-light view,” explained principal visualization scientist Frank Summers of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, who led the movie development team for NASA’s Universe of Learning.

“The contrast helps them understand why we have more than one space telescope to observe different aspects of the same object.”

NASA said the new movie (scroll down to view) helps viewers experience how two of the world’s most powerful space telescopes work together to provide a more complex portrait of the pillars.

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3D visualization of the towering celestial structure Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula – NASA

Hubble sees objects that glow in visible light, at thousands of degrees. Webb’s infrared vision, which is sensitive to cooler objects with temperatures of just hundreds of degrees, pierces through obscuring dust to see stars embedded in the pillars.

“When we combine observations from NASA’s space telescopes across different wavelengths of light, we broaden our understanding of the universe,” said Mark Clampin, Astrophysics Division director at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

“The Pillars of Creation region continues to offer us new insights that hone our understanding of how stars form. Now, with this new visualization, everyone can experience this rich, captivating landscape in a new way.”

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Stretching 9.5 light-years, the Eagle Nebula lies in the Sagittarius Arm of the Milky Way in the constellation Serpens, with the tower spanning more than twice the distance from our sun to its nearest star.

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