NASA releases photos of the 'Pillars of Creation' 20 years apart - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

NASA releases photos of the 'Pillars of Creation' 20 years apart

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The Pillars of Creation then and now. Photos:WFC3: NASA, ESA/Hubble and the Hubble Heritage Team// The Pillars of Creation then and now. Photos:WFC3: NASA, ESA/Hubble and the Hubble Heritage Team//
KHQ.com -

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope first launched back in 1990 and in celebration of its 25th anniversary, it revisited the site of one of its most iconic images.

In 1995 the Hubble captured a photo it named "The Pillars of Creation," showing a section of the Eagle Nebula some 7,000 light years from Earth. It was so named because of the elephant trunks of interstellar gas and dust present in the photo. The gas and dust in the pillars are in the process of creating new stars, while also being eroded by the light from other recently formed stars.

Now, with new technology that comes with scientific advances in the span of 20 years, the Hubble revisited the same region and took the same photo. The new image was taken with Wide Field Camera 3, installed in 2009, and captures the pillars with greater clarity.

In addition to just being a beautiful photo, the new images of the pillars help astronomers learn how the structure of the pillars is changing over time.

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