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English: STScI-1995-44 Star-birth clouds in M16, taken from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (HST) with its Wide Field/Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2): Stellar “eggs” emerge from molecular cloud.

This eerie, dark structure in IC 4703 (the Eagle nebula) is a column of cool molecular hydrogen gas and dust that is an incubator for new stars. The stars are embedded inside finger-like protrusions clearly seen extending from the top of the column. Each “fingertip” is somewhat larger than our own solar system.
The pillar is slowly eroding away by the ultraviolet light from nearby hot stars, a process called “photoevaporation”. As it does, small globules of especially dense gas buried within the cloud are uncovered. These globules have been dubbed “EGGs” ; an acronym for “Evaporating Gaseous Globules”. The shadows of the EGGs protect gas behind them, resulting in the finger-like structures at the top of the cloud.

ST ScI OPO • PRC95-44b
Author Jeff Hester and Paul Scowen (Arizona State University), Hubble Space Telescope, ESA, STScI, and NASA
(Reusing this file)

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current01:38, 12 March 2014Thumbnail for version as of 01:38, 12 March 2014769 × 751 (181 KB)Scanmap (talk | contribs)better quality, moving captions to description
18:53, 23 December 2005Thumbnail for version as of 18:53, 23 December 2005750 × 837 (75 KB)Atamari (talk | contribs)*
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