August 11, 2009

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The Pillars of Earth

image by Chris Kotsiopoulos, Mt. Olympus, Greece

Immediately invoking the famous Hubble Space Telescope image called the Pillars of Creation, Chris' more worldly view shows the end result of activity within the cosmic pillars. Within those gaseous columns are many star-forming regions where collapse of dust and gas transform nearly vacuous space into globes of incandescent nuclear fusion surrounded by smaller, colder worlds of rock. We live on one and the Moon is another, and together we circle the Sun, all created from gases and dust 4.55 billion years ago. As the gaseous debris cooled small pieces of mineral and rocks condensed out and began to collide. Pieces that stuck accreted and grew bigger creating planetesimals that ultimately made planets and moons. The last planetesimals are still orbiting in the asteroid belt and as the Oort Cloud, and evidence for many of their lost brethren are visible in this image as small bright spots on the Moon.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details
7/8/2009 6:35. Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XTi, Focal Length 200.0 mm (cropped), 1/250 sec, f/4, ISO 100

Related Links
Chris' wonderful panorama view with the pillars barely visible.

Lunar Anniversary
Zond 7, launched by the USSR, flew around the Moon on this day in 1969 and returned film of 35 photos to Earth for processing.

Yesterday's LPOD: Moon Woman

Tomorrow's LPOD: Perspective


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