Telescope reveals amazing pillars in star-breeding ground

This image was provided by the European Southern Observatory. It was taken by the MUSE instrument, mounted on ESO's Very Large Telescope. Photo via AP

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A peek into a distant star-breeding ground has uncovered scenes worthy of a watercolor master.

Astronomers on Wednesday released majestic images of pillars of gas and dust in the Carina Nebula, some 7,500 light-years away. The observations were taken by the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile.

The pictures rank right with the Hubble Space Telescope’s famous Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula, an image now 21 years old. Scientists say these new images appear to be pillars of destruction, in which massive new stars destroy the clouds of gas from which they were born. They do that by blasting out radiation. Scientists were able to see the effect of this so-called photo evaporation in the dissipating pillars. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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