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10 light years but destroyed 6000 years ago?

  1. Jun 27, 2012 #1

    The Pillars of Creation are 10 light years away from us, but are said to be already destroyed 6000 years ago. In the picture above, it say that we still have a millenneum to observe them. But then, wouldn't the light delay only be 10 years? Shouldn't we already have observed their demolishing 5990 years ago?
    Please explain this to me, thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 27, 2012 #2


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    What, exactly, was destroyed 6000 years ago to form the "pillars of creation"? If they are 10 light years away then we are 5990 years to late to see what was there before but that does not mean we cannot see the "pillars" themselves.
  4. Jun 27, 2012 #3


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    The Pillars are 7,000 light years from earth
  5. Jun 27, 2012 #4


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    "Said" by whom? Do you have a link?
  6. Jun 27, 2012 #5

    D H

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    Read your own source. It says that the "Pillars of Creation lie within the Eagle Nebula. The Eagle Nebular is 7,000 light years away from us."

    That 10 light year figure at the top of the caption text is a (somewhat mistaken) statement regarding the size of the pillars, not how far away they are. The largest of the Pillars of Creation is a "mere" 7 light years tall. There's a separate streamer that is 9.5 light years tall but isn't quite as dramatic as are the Pillars.

    Regarding the supernova that purportedly destroyed the Pillars 6,000 years ago: That's a 2006/2007 conjecture based on imagery from the Spitzer Space Telescope. A number of astronomers dispute that conjecture. The conjecture made the news as if it were fact because it's an interesting claim and hence sells copy. That it is merely a conjecture, that many dispute it: That doesn't make the news because it's boring. Or at least so think the editors and newsies who are generally quite clueless about science. Writers of internet websites repeat what they read, often badly. What's left for the general public is the conjecture misrepresented as fact, and none of the science behind it.
  7. Jul 21, 2012 #6
    Name and time is about right if you're a creationist ... :-)
  8. Jul 21, 2012 #7
    ..-_- no, shucks.... come on.
    This pic's from Nasa's page

    As the other guy said I guess I read it wrong, maybe it was talking about the Eagle Nebula all the times.
  9. Jul 21, 2012 #8
    Is NASA's website really that bad? Is it aimed at young readers?
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