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This infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is called "Mountains of Creation," pillars of cosmic dust where stars are born. These mountains of cool gas and dust are illuminated at their tips with light from new stars. Scientists believe that the pillars were formed by one massive star and will eventually become dense enough to form a new generation of stars.
invisible cosmic dust
The inset image is what can be seen by visible light, and the main image is from infrared. The reason? Infrared light can travel through dust, while visible light is blocked by it. Second, the mountain dust has been warmed by stars and consequently glows in infrared light, where Spitzer can see it.