This Is Why ‘Pillars’ In Space Mean Destruction, Not Creation
“In the heart of the Eagle Nebula, the iconic Pillars of Creation loom as one of Hubble’s greatest all-time sights. But very little is still being created in there, compared to the destruction that’s taking place. It’s true: there are new stars being formed inside, as the gas gravitational collapses down to grow the largest clumps of matter. But the reason you have a pillar shape at all is because of nearby, bright, external stars, which boil the gas away.”
Just because you have newly-forming proto-stars inside of you doesn’t mean you’re creating new things. You could, instead, be at the very end-stages of creation, where you’ve finished creating ~99% of everything your star-forming region is ever going to create, and only the last remnant stage — that of destruction — is left. Instead, these gas clumps are the final vestiges of an environment that houses already-born stars, in the process of boiling off. These gas globules aren’t collapsing and giving rise to stars; they’re evaporating away. What we’re witnessing is the aftermath of creation, not the start of it.