See the Hubble Space Telescope's iconic Pillars of Creation in Lego form

The famous Hubble Space Telescope image Pillars of Creation reimagined as a LEGO set.
The famous Hubble Space Telescope image Pillars of Creation reimagined as a LEGO set. (Image credit: LEGO)

One of the Hubble Space Telescope's most iconic pictures is now reimagined in Lego form.

The famous "Pillars of Creation" image of 1995 showing epic clouds of gas in the Eagle Nebula is available now on the Lego's website for fans to recreate in brick form, for free. A copy of the instructions is online on the "Go Beyond" website, to time with Lego's recently released NASA Space Shuttle Discovery Hubble set for adults.

If it's safe enough for you to go shopping in your local region, given the ongoing pandemic, Lego will also have 20 by 20 inch (50 by 50 centimeters) "multi-dimensional brick works of art" in select stores (search on the website here). On the website, VIP members of Lego (membership is free) can talk to STS-31 space shuttle astronaut Kathy Sullivan. Or, you can openly download three "backdrops" featuring Hubble images, to use on your cell phone or other device.

Review: Lego's NASA Space Shuttle Discovery set with Hubble is a space geek's dream

Lego NASA Space Shuttle Discovery. $199 at

Lego NASA Space Shuttle Discovery. $199 at
Build your own Hubble Space Telescope launch with Lego's 2,354-piece NASA Space Shuttle Discovery set.

"The Hubble Space Telescope has shared wondrous images of deep space, leading to breakthroughs in astrophysics and space exploration," Lego said in a statement describing the new art. "The aptly named Pillars of Creation, captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, are part of an active star-forming region within the nebula and hide newborn stars in their wispy columns."

Despite its stellar track record of ground-breaking discoveries, Hubble, which launched into space 31 years ago in April  1990, didn’t have a smooth start.  Soon after the telescope’s deployment, astronomers found the space observatory was somewhat nearsighted due to a faulty mirror. In 1993, a servicing mission estimated to cost $700 million fixed the problem by installing corrective "glasses" in front of the telescope's flawed optics.  

Since then, the telescope hasn't stopped amazing humanity with its endless discoveries — including showing the acceleration of the universe's expansion and finding two new moons of Pluto while the NASA New Horizons spacecraft was en route for a 2015 flyby. 

Since the original 1995 image, Hubble has revisited the Pillars of Creation several times, including images released in 2015 and 2020. The telescope was serviced by several astronaut crews. The final 2009 service mission enabled the telescope to remain operational until at least the early 2030s. A successor observatory, the James Webb Space Telescope, should launch in November this year following a decade’s worth of budgetary and technical delays..

Lego has released numerous space shuttle sets over the years, but it created a more adult version for the new STS-31 set given recent successes with models of the Saturn V moon rocket, the International Space Station and the Apollo 11 lunar module that captured each iconic vehicle to high fidelity. The new STS-31 set also marked the 40th anniversary of the first space shuttle launch, STS-1, on April 12, 1981. 

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: