Pillars of Creation

The swirling oranges and sparkling refractions of light in this photo, captured by CIERA graduate student Imran Sultan, are the Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula. The Pillars of Creation are part of an active star-forming region within the nebula and hide newborn stars in their cloud-like columns. This sight was captured from Bortle Class 8-9 city skies with an 80mm doublet refractor and dual-band (H-alpha and O-iii emission) filter, with an integration time of approximately four hours. This photo was taken in Des Plaines, Illinois. Sultan, who practices astrophotography in his free time, is a graduate student in CIERA Professor Claude-Andre Faucher-Giguere’s group. In 2023, Sultan’s photo of the Western Veil Nebula and the Flower Moon won first place and runner-up respectively in the astronomy category of the Royal Society Publishing Photography Competition.

Credit: Imran Sultan/Northwestern/CIERA

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