The Eagle's EGGs
Through imaging at infrared wavelengths, evidence has been found for recent star formation in the so-called "Pillars of Creation" in the Eagle Nebula (also known as Messier 16), made famous when the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) obtained spectacular visible-wavelength images of this object in 1995.
Those huge pillars of gas and dust are being sculpted and illuminated by bright and powerful high-mass stars in the nearby NGC 6611 young stellar cluster . The Hubble astronomers suggested that perhaps even younger stars were forming inside.
Using the ISAAC instrument on the VLT 8.2-m ANTU telescope at the ESO Paranal Observatory, European astronomers have now made a wide-field infrared image of the Messier 16 region with excellent spatial resolution, enabling them to penetrate the obscuring dust and search for light from newly born stars .
ESO Press Video eso0142 shows a sky field, "dissolving" back and forth between the Hubble and VLT views, demonstrating the dramatic changes that occur when changing wavelength from the visible to near-infrared. (It is suggested to play it at reduced speed).Credit: