Researchers from the National Ignition Facility (NIF) have created the 3D image of the “Pillars of Creation”. They now hope to find clues to the mystery of how stars are born in these spectacular cosmic formations.
Jave Kane, NIF scientist, said, “This project underlines the idea, that the human intellect can use mathematical equations, computer codes and millimeter-size objects that last nanoseconds in a laboratory to study parsec (trillions of miles)-scale objects that are thousands of light years distant—yet evolve by the same physical laws as those on Earth.”
The researchers used the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope to create the 3D image of the “Pillars of Creation”. The researchers added that the famous structure features a series of dust pillars formed by the intense energy of new stars in the Eagle Nebula. It is Located in the Eagle Nebula, Messier 16, about 7,000 light years away. The interstellar dust and gas formation was created from intense radiation and winds, sculpting it over time.
The researchers stated that the 3D image will give them a better understanding of the forces, new and old, that shaped the Pillars of Creation. They also can better predict how evaporation will continue to alter the columns. The pillars were formed when intense radiation and solar winds expelled by new stars blew out less dense cosmic material. Stretched columns of dust and gas can be found in many nebulas.
The researchers have stated the Pillars of Creation will fully evaporate in about three million years. After this, they will become the Pillars of Destruction.
The researchers added that they will now investigate the origin and dynamics of pillar formation at the boundaries of HII regions, which are the star-forming molecular hydrogen clouds, in the presence of a process called ablative stabilization, which prevents the growth of traditional Rayleigh-Taylor hydrodynamic instability pillars that are well-known in the context of inertial confinement fusion.