Now the James Webb Space Telescope, Hubble's successor, uses infrared to see through those same columns and inspect newborns in dusty cribs.
In a new view of the Pillars, cherry-red streaks and waves are jets of material squeezed from globs of gas and dust as they collapsed and heated up.
After 20 years and $10 billion, the Webb telescope launched on Christmas Day last year a million miles from Earth
The launch was a huge success, as was the complex space procedure that turned on the telescope.
The Webb is designed to see infrared light, which human eyes have never seen.
Astronomers can see distant galaxies whose light has shifted to infrared as they move away from Earth and peer through interstellar dust clouds.