James Webb Telescope Reveals a Haunting Look at the Pillars of Creation

The high-definition telescope is back with a spooky take on the iconic interstellar formation.

Courtesy of NASA, ESA, CSA.
Courtesy of NASA, ESA, CSA.

Just last week the James Webb telescope gave the iconic Pillars of Creation an extreme makeover…kind of. The telescope merely captured the pillars in never before seen detail thanks to its updated technology. Still though, the results were stunning.

Today NASA unveiled another fresh take on the famous image, but this time the final shot (above) is a lot more spooky. This is thanks to the Webb telescope’s mid-infrared instrument. Mid-infrared light excels at revealing gas and dust in extreme detail, according to the European Space Agency.

Courtesy of NASA

Why exactly is this image so much more haunting than the last? Well, while mid-infrared light specializes in detailing where interstellar dust is, the stars aren't bright enough at these wavelengths to appear visible, the ESA continued.

This effect gives the pillars their gothic space spirit look. Their darkness is the only thing hinting at any star-forming activity within, or perhaps the iconic pillars are just Scorpio's, but that's a question for another time.

If you'd like to get a grasp on just how large these pillars are, take a look at the red star jutting out of the bottom edge of the topmost formation. That star is larger than our entire solar system. Awe-inspiring or extremely terrifying, depending on how you look at it. Now how can we figure out how to turn this into a Halloween costume?

Ready to go stargazing?

Here are all the best stargazing events that you can get out and see this month or you could stay in a stream the northern lights from home. If you're just getting started, check out our guide to astronomy for beginners or easy stargazing road trips from big US cities.

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Jeremy Porr is a News Writer at Thrillist. Follow Jeremy on Instagram.