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Gas Pillars in M16
( Eagle Nebula)
Space corral or enchanted serpents, these dark pillar-like formations are actually columns of cool hydrogen dust and gas that are also incubators for star forming regions. Like stalagmites protruding from the floor of a bat cave, these pillars extend from the interior wall of a dark interstellar cloud. Located 6,500 light-years away in the constellation Serpens, they are part of the "Eagle Nebula" which is also called M16 — the 16th object in Charles Messier's 18th century catalog of "fuzzy" objects that aren't comets.
Picture courtesy of: www.hubblesite.org
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