Fact Check

News 7 Tamil misquotes year and name in a tweet about JWST’s newly released image of the Pillars of Creation.


“Eagle Nebula” Photo taken by NASA’s Hubble Telescope in 1955 VS The most accurate latest photo of the Eagle Nebula taken by the James Webb Telescope, which was sent into space last year.

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Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) were launched in 1990 and 2021 respectively. Hubble is an optical telescope whereas the JWST is an infrared telescope which can see through gas clouds and even detect fainter lights which enables it to look much beyond what Hubble is capable of. Hence, there is enormous interest for the images from JWST and there is constant comparison between images taken by JWST and HST. Earlier, JWST’s first images of the Deep Field, Stephan’s Quintet, Carina Nebula and Southern Ring Nebula generated massive response from the scientific community and the general public. The comparisons between JWST and HST images showed the capability of the JWST. Now, JWST has released a new image on 19th October 2022 and when the Tamil News channel, News 7 Tamil, reported the news, it mentioned the Hubble Image is from 1955 and also mentioned that the image is of the Eagle Nebula in two tweets which can be seen here and here.

‘Pillars of Creation’ image taken by James Webb Space Telescope in 2022.

Link to download full resolution image

What’s the truth?

This image released by NASA which was taken by the JWST shows the ‘Pillars of Creation’ which is a small part of the Eagle Nebula, not the whole of Eagle Nebula itself. This below image shows the Eagle Nebula and the circled area shows the Pillars of Creation.

Eagle Nebula

News 7 Tamil had misquoted the image as the Eagle Nebula when in reality it is just a small portion of the Eagle Nebula. Moreover, the first image of the Pillars of the Creation by the Hubble Space Telescope was taken in 1995 not in 1955 as quoted by the news outlet. Below is the image of the news card posted by News 7 Tamil translated using Google Lens.

Translated using Google Lens feature.


Translated using Google Lens feature.

The image used by News 7 Tamil was taken in 2015 and not the first image which was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995. This is the image of the Pillars of Creation taken in 1995 and 2015 side by side.

This image compares two views of the Eagle Nebula’s Pillars of Creation taken with Hubble 20 years apart. The new image, on the left, captures almost exactly the same region as in the 1995, on the right. However, the newer image uses Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3, installed in 2009, to capture light from glowing oxygen, hydrogen, and Sulphur with greater clarity. Having both images allow astronomers to study how the structure of the pillars is changing over time.

The below image shows the comparison between Pillars of Creation taken by Hubble in 2014 and by the JWST in 2022.

Link to download full resolution

There is a comedy of errors in these tweets by News 7 Tamil which is listed below.

  • News 7 Tamil had used an image taken in 2015 but mentioned as it was taken in 1955.
  • In one of its tweets, the image was tagged to be taken in 1995 but that was taken in 2015.
  • In the same tweet, the image mentions that the photo was taken in 1995 but the description text claims that it was taken in 1955 both of which are wrong.


News 7 Tamil had used an image taken in 2015 and misquoted it to be taken in 1955 rather than 1995 which was the year in which the first image of the Pillars of Creation was taken. Secondly, Pillars of Creation is a small portion of a much larger area of the Eagle Nebula but the news outlet had termed the Pillars of Creation as the Eagle Nebula itself.

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