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June 6, 2016 - Pillars of Creation and Destruction

Pillars of Creation and Destruction  These glowing, ghostly shapes have been dubbed the “Pillars of Creation,” but it’s the process of destruction that makes them so fantastic to behold. Five light-years high, these columns of cold gas and dust are sculpted by the powerful winds from hot young stars within the Eagle Nebula (M16), 6,500 light-years away in the constellation Serpens. Ionizing radiation from the stars heats up the edges of the stellar wind-swept clouds and causes them to glow brilliantly in light wavelengths detectable by the Hubble Space Telescope; through this destruction, new stars will be born, as the gas and dust are incited to collapse and condense. In fact, our own Sun and solar system may have formed within a glowing region just like this, nearly 5 billion years ago.

Image credit: NASA / ESA / Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Weekly Calendar

June 6-12, 2016

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 6

Venus in superior conjunction

1932: Dave Scott born
1971: Soyuz 11 launched, first crew to occupy Salyut 1 space station
1983: Venera 16 launched

Moon phase Tuesday 7

1992: Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer launched
2011Soyuz TMA-02M launched carrying ISS Expedition 28/29 crew

Moon phase Wednesday 8

1625: Giovanni Cassini born
1959: First X-15 unpowered glide test
1975: Venera 9 launched
2007: STS-117 Atlantis launched

Moon phase Thursday 9

1812: Johann Gottfried Galle born

Moon phase Friday 10

1985: Vega 1 deploys lander and balloon on Venus
2003: Mars rover Spirit launched

Moon phase Saturday 11

Jupiter 1.5° north of Moon

2008: Fermi Gamma-Ray Telescope launched
2013: Shenzhou 10 launched, China's fifth human spaceflight mission

Moon phase Sunday 12

First Qtr Moon 4:10 AM ET

1967: Venera 4 launched

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.