Cosmic Wonder

Composed of gas and dust, the pictured pillar resides in a tempestuous stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula, located 7500 light-years away in the southern constellation of Carina. Taken in visible light, the image shows the tip of the three-light-year-long pillar, bathed in the glow of light from hot, massive stars off the top of the image. Scorching radiation and fast winds (streams of charged particles) from these stars are sculpting the pillar and causing new stars to form within it. Streamers of gas and dust can be seen flowing off the top of the structure. Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 observed the Carina Nebula on 24-30 July 2009. WFC3 was installed aboard Hubble in May 2009 during Servicing Mission 4. The composite image was made from filters that isolate emission from iron, magnesium, oxygen, hydrogen and sulphur. These Hubble observations of the Carina Nebula are part of the Hubble Servicing Mission 4 Early Release Observations.

What You Will Discover

Included With All Access Pass

Ever since the first curious person looked up at the night sky, people all over the world have challenged themselves to uncover its secrets. What are stars? How did they get there? Why does our view of the sky change throughout the year? What holds the Universe together?

Some of these questions had clear answers, but others only led to more questions. In Cosmic Wonder, you’ll see how humans have charted the skies across time and civilizations—and learn a few of the big questions facing modern-day astronomers.

Run Time: approx. 30 minutes


Accessibility-Symbol-Signs-45057-lgClosed captioning of narration at Adler sky shows (except for Skywatch Live!) is available for guests who are deaf or hearing impaired via their personal mobile devices. To access captioning, visit http://adlercaps.org. Assistance with this service is available at the box offices or in theaters.

The Adler also provides assistive listening devices for guests that may need support hearing shows and presentations in all three theaters. Guests can learn more and check out the system at either box office. 

If You Like This, Check Out

  • Planet Nine

  • Welcome To The Universe