Sunday, March 6, 2022

RVCC Planetarium to Display Tactile Panel of Hubble Image


The Raritan Valley Community College Planetarium in Branchburg has received a limited-edition tactile panel of one of the Hubble Telescope’s iconic images 

Pillars of Creation

WHENSaturdays, from 3-8 p.m., when the facility is open for public shows
RVCC Planetarium, 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ
For information, call 908-231-8805. For additional information about the Planetarium, visit

The 12" x 12" image, produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute, is on display in the Planetarium’s exhibition area and is available for viewing by the public.

The panel depicts the towering tendrils of cosmic dust and gas that sit at the heart of M16, or the Eagle Nebula. The aptly named Pillars of Creation, part of an active, star-forming region within the nebula, hide newborn stars in their wispy columns.

Although this is not Hubble’s first image of the Eagle Nebula’s Pillars of Creation region, it is the most detailed. The blue colors in the image represent oxygen, red signifies sulfur, and green represents both nitrogen and hydrogen. The pillars are bathed in the scorching ultraviolet light that is generated by a cluster of young stars located just outside the frame. The winds from these stars are slowly eroding the towers of gas and dust.

Discovered in 1745 by the Swiss astronomer Jean-Philippe Loys de Chéseaux, the Eagle Nebula is located 7,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Serpens. With an apparent magnitude of 6, the Nebula can be spotted through a small telescope and is best viewed during the month of July. A large telescope and optimal viewing conditions are necessary to clearly view the Pillars of Creation.

For further information, visit