This image from the Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys captures hot stellar winds carving away at pillars of cold gas, like ice sculptors wielding torches.
These one-light-year-tall pillars of cold hydrogen and dust are located 7,500 light-years away in the Carina Nebula. Violent stellar winds and powerful radiation from massive stars are sculpting the surrounding nebula. Inside the dense structures, new stars may be born.
Awesome. One-light-year-tall pillars. 7,500 light years away. I haven’t done the math, but it’s pretty mind-numbing to think that that these things were probably evaporated and gone by something like 5,000 years ago. Chew on that one awhile.