Thursday, 9 July 2015

The Pillars of Creation

Having seen a fair few number of water worlds and Earth like planets so far, it still surprises me that there is a tug at the heart strings when I find another. A glimpse at the possibilities, the opportunities, and the paths that life might take.

A reminder of the origin system, still over 7000Ly away. Having spent most of my life largely ignoring it while in easy travel, perhaps I have come to appreciate it more from this distance.

There is no lack of interesting things to find out here.

Just as worlds are a birthplace for life, so the stars themselves must also have their own stellar nursery. That life births into existence, struggles and fights to survive, grows old, and then dies is a familiar thing. Harder to imagine for stars where the scale is over billions of years, and our lives are ephemeral by comparison. Mankind didn't even exist as a species when these stars entered the galaxy.

The Eagle Nebula is actively birthing new stars, a bright cluster burning incandescent in the sky. A search through those stars will reveal much about early solar system, the formation of planets and the other ancillary bodies that are left over.

The scientists are always keen to obtain more information and run comparisons since the last visit by an explorer. There have been quite a few explorers in this part of space, as markers from previous visitors are plainly visible.

Inside Eagle Nebula and looking towards the birthing stars

Stars born from the remnants of a dead supernova at the Eagle Nebula

Leaving the Eagle Nebula behind, and running parallel to the bright cluster of stars reborn anew.

That tug at the heartstrings is growing rather strong now. Only one more detour before making the run back to the bubble of humanity.