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This image from NASA shows a cosmic pillar of gas and dust that is nearly 2 light-years wide. The structure lies within one of our galaxy's largest star forming regions, the Carina Nebula, shining in southern skies at a distance of about 7,500 light-years. The pillar's convoluted outlines are shaped by the winds and radiation of Carina's young, hot, massive stars. But the interior of the cosmic pillar itself is home to stars in the process of formation. Both visible light and near-infrared images were made using the Hubble Space Telescope's newly installed Wide Field Camera 3.
August 23rd, 2013
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