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This is a NASA Hubble Space Telescope near-infrared-light image of a three-light-year-tall pillar of gas and dust that is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby stars in the tempestuous stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula, located 7,500 light-years away in the southern constellation Carina. The image marks the 20th anniversary of Hubble's launch and deployment into an orbit around Earth.



The image reveals a plethora of stars behind the gaseous veil of the nebula's wall of hydrogen, laced with dust. The foreground pillar becomes semi-transparent because infrared light from background stars penetrates through much of the dust. A few stars inside the pillar also become visible. The false colors are assigned to three different infrared wavelength ranges.


Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)

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