Dazzling Universe
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Eagle nebula Eagle Nebula
A star-making region famous for its space pillars appears in this infrared view from Spitzer. Green denotes cooler dust, including the pillars seen in the center. Red represents hotter dust thought to have been warmed by the explosion of a massive star about 8,000 to 9,000 years ago.

Astronomers estimate that the explosion's blast wave would have spread outward and toppled the three pillars about 6,000 years ago. Since light from the Eagle nebula takes 7,000 years to reach us, this means we wouldn't witness the destruction for about 1,000 years.

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  Jet Propulsion Laboratory
   California Institute of Technology