The Pillars of Creation were photographed again by the James Webb Space Telescope in mid-infrared
Thousands of stars in this region disappear from view and seemingly endless layers of gas and dust become the centerpiece, European Space Agency officials noted Friday of the new image
Officials said dust is vital for star formation and helps scientists understand the structure's genesis and evolution in the constellation Serpens, 7,000 light-years from Earth
The Hubble Space Telescope discovered interstellar column-like clouds a generation ago
That observatory, which is still operational and in good shape, has repeatedly looked at the 1995 photograph
The two latest photographs also differ: Webb's Mid-Infrared Instrument produced images this month after its Near-Infrared Camera
Webb's larger mirror and deep-space station also reveal the pillars in greater detail than Hubble
NASA stated that the NIRCam image shows the cloud's structure and many stars that were undetectable in prior photographs produced only a few hundred thousand years ago.