Newly released Pillars of Creation visualization is stunning

The Pillars of Creation, a photograph of the Eagle Nebula taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995, stands as a spectacular achievement in astrophotography, alongside Earthrise and the Pale Blue Dot, and is one of the most recognizable images in the field. 

As technology has improved, Hubble and the James Webb Space Telescope have produced even more breathtaking images.

Now, NASA has taken data from both telescopes and created a spectacular 3-D visualization. 

The new visualization helps viewers experience how two of the world's most powerful space telescopes work together to provide a more complex and holistic portrait of the pillars. Hubble sees objects that glow in visible light, at thousands of degrees. Webb's infrared vision, which is sensitive to cooler objects with temperatures of just hundreds of degrees, pierces through obscuring dust to see stars embedded in the pillars.

"When we combine observations from NASA's space telescopes across different wavelengths of light, we broaden our understanding of the universe," said Mark Clampin, Astrophysics Division director at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "The Pillars of Creation region continues to offer us new insights that hone our understanding of how stars form. Now, with this new visualization, everyone can experience this rich, captivating landscape in a new way."


Using the data produced for the visualization, NASA also created and shared files for a 3-D-printed version of the iconic nebula. At a time when let's face it, a lot of things are terrible, I appreciate being reminded of the beauty of the universe and the great things humanity is capable of under the right circumstances.