This eerie, dark structure in IC 4703 (the Eagle nebula) is a column of cool molecular hydrogen gas and dust that is an incubator for new stars. The stars are embedded inside finger-like protrusions clearly seen extending from the top of the column. Each "fingertip" is somewhat larger than our own solar system. The pillar is slowly eroding away by the ultraviolet light from nearby hot stars, a process called "photoevaporation". As it does, small globules of especially dense gas buried within the cloud are uncovered. These globules have been dubbed "EGGs" ; an acronym for "Evaporating Gaseous Globules". The shadows of the EGGs protect gas behind them, resulting in the finger-like structures at the top of the cloud.