These are the Pillars of Creation:
This picture was taken by the Hubble telescope in 1995, and depicts protuberances of interstellar gas and dust within the Eagle Nebula. Here are some fun (and by "fun," I mean "mind-blowing and with the potential to induce existential terror") facts about them:
- They have been referred to as a "star incubator" - meaning that several new stars were being formed inside each Pillar.
- The longest of the Pillars was roughly seven light years in length. Seven light years.
- The tops of each Pillar were larger than our solar system.
- Notice how I keep using the past tense? That's because these don't actually exist anymore. They were destroyed six thousand years ago by a supernova shock wave. But we can still see them, because the light from that event hasn't caught up to the Earth yet. We'll be able to see them get destroyed in about a thousand years, assuming we haven't killed ourselves or just become too collectively retarded to even know about space by then.
Isn't that insane?