<p>A colorful, craggy column of dust and gas dubbed the Mystic Mountain stars in the newest picture from the Hubble Space Telescope. Released April 23 as part of celebrations for Hubble's 20th anniversary, the picture highlights the results of star birth in the Carina nebula. (See <a id="bv_q" title="astronomers' picks of some of the best Hubble pictures" href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/04/photogalleries/100423-hubble-20th-anniversary-space-science-pictures/#hubble-cloudy-nebula-ngc-602_19426_600x450.jpg">astronomers' picks of some of the best Hubble pictures</a>.)<br><br> Hot, young stars in the nebula are constantly emitting radiation and charged particles that sculpt the cosmic cloud from the inside. Columns like this one are regions of matter dense enough to stand up to stellar erosion. (Find out <a id="vw2q" title="more about the Mystic Mountain, and see a different image of the stars hidden inside the structure" href="http://blogs.nationalgeographic.com/blogs/news/breakingorbit/2010/04/hubble-space-telescopes-new-cl.html">more about the Mystic Mountain, and see a different image of the stars hidden inside the structure</a>.)</p>

Hubble's Mystic Mountain

A colorful, craggy column of dust and gas dubbed the Mystic Mountain stars in the newest picture from the Hubble Space Telescope. Released April 23 as part of celebrations for Hubble's 20th anniversary, the picture highlights the results of star birth in the Carina nebula. (See astronomers' picks of some of the best Hubble pictures.)

Hot, young stars in the nebula are constantly emitting radiation and charged particles that sculpt the cosmic cloud from the inside. Columns like this one are regions of matter dense enough to stand up to stellar erosion. (Find out more about the Mystic Mountain, and see a different image of the stars hidden inside the structure.)

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

Space Photos This Week: Mystic Mountain, Mars Ice, More

Hubble snaps a cosmic "mountain," a satellite spies an oil slick, a Mars crater exposes ice, and more in the week's best space pictures.

Read This Next

The science behind seasonal depression
These 3,000-year-old relics were torched and buried—but why?
How the Holocaust happened in plain sight

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet