Eye on the Universe

From Harvard Magazine:

Space_2 The “Pillars of Creation” may be the most iconic Hubble photograph ever taken. “Located in the Eagle Nebula, the pillars are clouds of molecular hydrogen, light years in length, where new stars are being born,” says Aguilar. “However, recent discoveries indicate these pillars were destroyed by a massive nearby super­nova some 6,000 years ago. This is a ghost image of a past cosmic disaster that we won’t see here on Earth for another thousand years or so—and a perfect example of the fact that everything we see in the universe is history.” It was in the Eagle Nebula that proplyds, dusty protoplanetary disks that only the Hubble telescope’s high-resolution optics can detect, were observed for the first time. (This photograph was stitched together from shots taken by four cameras. One of the cameras takes a magnified view of its quadrant, which—when shrunk to fit the scale of the other three—leaves dark space in the upper right corner.)

More here.