The dust sculptures of the Eagle Nebula are evaporating. As powerful starlight whittles away these cool cosmic mountains, the statuesque pillars that remain might be imagined as mythical beasts. Pictured here is one of several striking dust pillars of the Eagle Nebula that has been described as a gigantic alien fairy, and has been named “The Fairy of the Eagle Nebula”.
This fairy, however, is ten light years tall and spews radiation much hotter than common fire. The greater Eagle Nebula, M16, is actually a giant evaporating shell of gas and dust inside of which is a growing cavity filled with a spectacular stellar nursery currently forming an open cluster of stars.
The image was released as part of the fifteenth anniversary celebration of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope.
Jon’s concept is to sculpt the Fairy, fully emerged from the dust pillar, holding a telescope in her hands, as shown in the sketch. This is a work in progress and will be finished this Fall, 2007.
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