This animation shows Herbig Haro 901 (HH901), a large pillar of gas and dust with eruptive young stars inside the Carina Nebula. The animation reveals the object in two Hubble Space Telescope images: first in visible light and then in infrared light.
Herbig Haro 901 is an immense pillar of gas and dust inside the Carina Nebula, a huge star-forming region in our galaxy. The pillar is several light-years tall and contains a few massive young stars. They shoot out powerful jets that emerge from the cloud. In some cases, the jets create bow-shock patterns similar to the effects of a ship plowing through the ocean. In the visible-light (Hubble) view, very few stars can be seen because the gas and dust block starlight. But in the infrared (Hubble) view, stars become visible and numerous. The visible-light colors emerge from the glow of different gases: oxygen (blue), hydrogen/nitrogen (green), and sulfur (red). The Carina Nebula is approximately 7,500 light years from Earth.