Pillars of cold gas seem to melt in the hot radiation from nearby stars in a picture of the Carina nebula released September 16. The Hubble Space Telescope shot captures light emitted by hydrogen and oxygen atoms in the gas clouds.
The Carina nebula is a star-forming region 7,500 light-years from Earth. Massive stars in the nebula are constantly emitting streams of charged particles, which sculpt the surrounding gases and dust. Inside the darker, denser regions, new stars are likely being born.