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Mystic Mountain VI (Carina)
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At the top of this interstellar mountain is a star that is slowly breaking it down. The huge mountain, a series of pillars of gas and dust, measures light years in length. The top star is not itself visible through the opaque interstellar dust but is bursting out partly by ejecting opposing 1/2 light year-wide beams of energetic particles called Herbig-Haro jets. Located about 7,500 light years away in the Carina Nebula and known informally as Mystic Mountain, the appearance of these pillars is dominated by dark dust even though they are composed mostly of clear hydrogen gas.
All over these wonderful pillars, the energetic light and winds from massive, newly formed stars are evaporating and dispersing the dusty stellar nurseries in which they formed. Within a few million years, the head of this giant, as well as most of its body, will have been completely evaporated by internal and surrounding stars.
Credit: Hubble, NASA, ESA, Judy Schmidt