Giant Twisters in the Lagoon Nebula
This Hubble Telescope snapshot unveils a pair of one-half, light-year-long interstellar "twisters" -- eerie funnels and twisted-rope structures (upper left) -- in the heart of the Lagoon Nebula (M8) which lies 5,000 light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius.
The hot, central star, O Herschel 36 (upper left), is the primary source of the illuminating light for the brightest region in the nebula, called the Hourglass. The glare from this hot star is eroding the clouds by heating the hydrogen gas in them, seen as a blue mist at the right of the image). This activity drives away violent stellar winds that are tearing into the cool clouds.
Image Credit: NASA/A. Caulet (ST-ECF, ESA)