That top image is pretty, but the only way to see this incredible combination of dust and gas is to take in the whole image below. Holy crap, right? This picture, which was created in 2005 using Hubble data and digitally assigned colors, shows the Eagle Nebula surrounded by and intertwined with dust pillars that are slowly being shaped by light and cosmic wind.
The whole thing is ten light years tall and is giving off incredibly hot radiation. The "greater Eagle Nebula" (the Eagle Nebula metropolitan area and surrounding suburbs?) is a big shell of gas and dust that has actually created a hollow where young stars are forming. Stars are totally amazing and it seems fitting that they're born in such epic cosmic formations. [Astronomy Photo of the Day]