Pillars of gas
The image, taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) aboard NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, shows part of the Orion Nebula, 1500 light-years away and the nearest star-forming region to Earth.
Astronomers used 520 Hubble images, taken between 2004 and 2005 in five colours, to make this picture. They also added ground-based photos to fill out the nebula. The ACS mosaic covers approximately the apparent angular size of the full Moon.
These dense, dark pillars of dust and gas are resisting erosion from intense ultraviolet light released by the Orion Nebula’s biggest stars.
Credit: NASA, ESA, M. Robberto (Space Telescope Science Institute/ESA) and the Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team