left biblioblography: The Pillars Of Creation

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Pillars Of Creation

For those of you unfamiliar with the picture illustrated, Eagle_nebula_pillarsthis is the famous Eagle Nebula, and this particular shot is known as the Pillars of Creation.

While someone in the throes of pareidolia might project fingers, or serpents, or even the tentacles of Cthulhu reaching out to the stars from R'lyeh (I know, that last one is even more of a stretch), personally, I see a vast, unearthly beauty that tells me this: if there is indeed a creator, then we are as different from it as we are from jellyfish (the operant word here is xenogenesis).

We are finding on a regular basis, that indeed, not only is the universe NOT built with humanity in mind, but also that the processes that swirl in cosmic blossoming are far beyond anything imagined by our predecessors, ancient or otherwise.

I have just watched the series Hyperspace, and it is a sobering, wondrous journey to behold.

Why are these named the 'pillars of creation'? Because it's eerily similar to the way our own sun was born:

Earth's Sun is thought to have formed some 5 billion years ago after clouds of dust and gas were seared by ultraviolet radiation and pounded by shockwaves from one or more supernovae explosions, Linsky said. "The Sun was likely born in a region like the Pillars of Creation because the chemical abundances in the solar system indicate that a supernova occurred nearby and contributed its heavy elements to the gas of which the Sun and the planets formed." Studying E42 and how it continues to develop will help astronomers understand how our own Sun formed and how it affected the environment of the early solar system.

So look upwards, to the night sky, and ponder that we sprang, all of us, from the dust of stars, from the darkness of space, that some distant pinprick of light was in some way responsible for our existence. A mother, a father, a remote cousin of sorts. An intricate dance of energy patterns that wove us into being.

It's humbling.

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Mesoforte said...

Hyperspace reminds me of the documentary on the Science channel on parellel universes. It had something to do with the 11th dimension and a membrane (came about witht he combination of string theories) causing the Big Bang to happen. It also mentioned the multiverse. Here's a review link I found.

It appears that wiki's page isn't up to date with newer advances.

Krystalline Apostate said...

MF - I haven't really looked into the parallel universes/string theorems.
Wiki gets behind in these things, like anyone else.

beepbeepitsme said...

If you've ever swum in a murky dam - that is what that picture reminds me of.

Not a glorious thought I suppose for many, but visually it seems easier to bring it back to a scale I am familiar with.

Krystalline Apostate said...

BBIM - Have you swum in a murky dam before?
Can I call you Red now (heehee)? ;)

beepbeepitsme said...


Sure, lots of times as a kid. During the dry, the dams wouldn't have had a flush from rain - and they got disgusting. Never stopped us from swimming in them. ;)

Krystalline Apostate said...

BBIM - I take it it's a 'no' in re: to calling you Red? ;)