Captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995, ‘Pillars of Creation’ is one of the most famous astronomical pictures of all time, because it allows us a glimpse at the birth of stars. The monstrous pillars it depicts are lightyears in length, made of molecular hydrogen gas and dust, and inside are dense pockets of interstellar gas called evaporating gaseous globules (EGGs). They live up to their name—they’re so dense that they collapse under their own gravity and form to newborn stars. At the end of each of pillar, torrents of ultraviolet light from hot young stars nearby cause low-density material to boil away, exposing these stellar nurseries and the star-forming process. The pillars reside in the Eagle Nebula, 7,000 lightyears away in the constellation Serpens, and the second image shows the region’s entire network of turbulent clouds in infrared. The green indicates cooler dust, but the red shows the unfolding drama —it indicates dust thought to have been heated by an enormous star exploding about 8,000–9,000 years ago. Light from this region takes 7,000 years to reach Earth (i.e., today we’re seeing the region as it was 7,000 years ago), so our ancestors would have seen the supernova as an oddly bright star. Astronomers estimate that the blast was powerful enough topple the three pillars about 6,000 years ago—but we won’t witness this destruction until the light reaches us in another 1,000 years. Though the supernova crumbled the majestic towers and exposed the newborn stars within, it also triggered the birth of new stars, in the fascinating cycle of death and rebirth happening all across our universe.