Using Hubble Space Telescope, scientists have observed light-years-tall pillars of cold hydrogen and dust in the Carina Nebula.

Violent stellar winds and powerful radiation from massive stars are sculpting the surrounding nebula. Inside these bizarre, fantasy-like structures, new stars may be born.

The image of the dust pillars in the Carina Nebula received from Hubble is a composite of 2005 observations taken of the region in hydrogen light (light emitted by hydrogen atoms) along with 2010 observations taken in oxygen light (light emitted by oxygen atoms), both times with Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys. The immense Carina Nebula is an estimated 7,500 light-years away in the southern constellation Carina.

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