The Pillars of Creation

Giant Molecular Clouds, Star Formation, and Cosmic Recycling

  • Martin Beech

Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)

Also part of the Popular Astronomy book sub series (POPULAR)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Martin Beech
    Pages 1-46
  3. Martin Beech
    Pages 47-88
  4. Martin Beech
    Pages 89-120
  5. Martin Beech
    Pages 121-178
  6. Martin Beech
    Pages 179-233
  7. Martin Beech
    Pages 235-256
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 257-269

About this book


This book explores the mechanics of star formation, the process by which matter pulls together and creates new structures. Written for science enthusiasts, the author presents an accessible explanation of how stars are born from the interstellar medium and giant molecular clouds. Stars produce the chemicals that lead to life, and it is they that have enabled the conditions for planets to form and life to emerge.

Although the Big Bang provided the spark of initiation, the primordial universe that it sired was born hopelessly sterile. It is only through the continued recycling of the interstellar medium, star formation, and stellar evolution that the universe has been animated beyond a chaotic mess of elementary atomic particles, radiation, dark matter, dark energy, and expanding spacetime. Using the Milky Way and the Eagle Nebula in particular as case studies, Beech follows every step of this amazing process.



Interstellar medium Formation of chemicals in star factories Stellar evolution how do stars form? Intro to star creation What happens in nebula Nebula star formation Birth of stars Chemical molecules and stars

Authors and affiliations

  • Martin Beech
    • 1
  1. 1.Campion CollegeAt The University of ReginaReginaCanada

Bibliographic information