# Hubble image reveals the mighty baby stars that will probably destroy the 'Pillars of Creation'

#### Randomizer

5 light years is 3.5 times the diameter of our solar system??? That's almost 4 orders of magnitude off.

#### EnriqueEsteban

Who's math?

Our Solar System = 1.5 light years in diameter
Pillar length = 5 light years

Math = Pillars are 3.5x larger

#### Lucille

What? Elephant trunks in the Eagle Nebula?

Better to recognize wings of an eagle.

#### Alan W

Our solar system is on the order of 15 billion kilometers across, which is about 14 light-hours, which is less than 1% of a light-year.

#### Randomizer

EnriqueEstaban, you really think our solar system is 1.5 light YEARS in diameter?

#### EnriqueEsteban

What? Elephant trunks in the Eagle Nebula?

Better to recognize wings of an eagle.
The Pillars are called Elephant Trunks. The Pillars aren't the nebula. They are inside the nebula.
Do those look like wings to you?

#### EnriqueEsteban

EnriqueEstaban, you really think our solar system is 1.5 light YEARS in diameter?

#### EnriqueEsteban

Our solar system is on the order of 15 billion kilometers across, which is about 14 light-hours, which is less than 1% of a light-year.
The Solar system is larger than Pluto's distance.

#### Bill J.

The author is using the definition of solar system diameter = 2 x distance from sun to Oort cloud; that's about 1.5 light years. Old school thinking (2 x distance to outer planets) = about 0.0012 light years

#### Alan W

The Solar system is larger than Pluto's distance.
Yes, after a little reading, it's not as simple as I was thinking. I like the 'outer-planets' definition, but some definitions go beyond the heliosphere out to the "Hill Sphere" radius and out to the theoretical/hypothetical Oort cloud. If that's part of the solar system then it is indeed 1.5 LY or more.

#### energybarr

I wonder if that really is the diameter being referred to in the article, or the radius?? After taking that into account and going out to the Oort cloud then according to my google searches the diameter of our solar is about 3.0 LY. But even if it was only 1.5 LY I think that is is still in the same order of magnitude as the 'Pillars of Creation... but I may be wrong

#### tjclifford

I read a story last year sometime that there is a large supernova going on near the pillars of creation, and that
its' shock wave could disturb or destroy the pillars completely. I did a search and google found a story on wikipedia that says Images taken with the Spitzer Space Telescope uncovered a cloud of hot dust in the vicinity of the pillars that Nicolas Flagey accounted to be a shock wave produced by a supernova.
He postulated that the pillars could already be destroyed since the light from the pillars takes 7,000 years to reach
earth telescopes.

Is there any truth to this story ?

Last edited:

#### Casual Observer

The author is using the definition of solar system diameter = 2 x distance from sun to Oort cloud; that's about 1.5 light years. Old school thinking (2 x distance to outer planets) = about 0.0012 light years
Voyager 2 is about 17 billion kilos away and has left the solar system. So solar system is about 34 billion kilos across. A light year is approx. 9 trillion kilos so the solar system is just less than .5% of a light year across.