Head of Column No. 1 in Eagle Nebula
April 26, 2005
This photo shows an enlarged view of the head of the largest of the three main pillars, Column 1. The head is almost transparent around the edges at near-infrared wavelengths, but there is still a substantial opaque core which even these near-infrared VLT observations cannot penetrate. The complex blueish nebulosity bisected by a dark lane near the tip is being lit up by the bright yellow star just below it, which appears to be very young and rather massive. Several of the much fainter stars to the right of and below this source are found to be associated with EGGs seen in the Hubble image, and these all have much lower masses. Finally, there is a faint streak of blue light emanating from from the tip of EGG 23, one of the darkest parts of Column 1, ending in a blue blob further north. An equal distance to the south of the EGG and off the head, there is another curving blue nebulosity. These features are also seen in the Hubble image, and may be part of a Herbig-Haro jet coming from a young star buried deeply in EGG 23 and invisible in this image.
Topics: Space, Messier objects, Astronomy, Head, Eagle Nebula, Stellar astronomy, Herbig–Haro object, Star formation, Nebulae, Open clusters, Star, Very Large Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope