NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team / blink gif by Emily Lakdawalla
Blink comparison of visible and infrared Hubble images of Carina nebula
The image of the colorful pillar, which was taken in visible light wavelengths, shows the tip of a 3-light-year-long structure of gas and dust located 7,500 light years away. The pillar is shaped both from outside -- stellar wind from giant nearby stars (out of the frame) punch into it, compressing it -- and from inside -- as the compression of the gas has produced new stars within it. The new stars are mostly invisible in the visible-light image. But in infrared wavelengths (a new capability for the wide-field camera on Hubble) the dust is transparent, and the baby stars are revealed. One of them, at the center of the frame, spouts two impressive jets. Data for the two images were taken by Hubble's newly installed WFC3 on July 24-30, 2009.