Observations of the Eagle Nebula (the eagle shape can be seen dead-center in the top photo) have introduced new ideas into the theory of star formation. Lying in one of the dense spiral arms of the Milky Way, this is an immense stellar nursery where young stars flourish, new stars are being created, and the material and triggers exist for future star formation.
The second image is one of the most famous and iconic astronomical images. It shows the Pillars of Creation, which are towers of dense material that have resisted evaporation by radiation from local young stars. However, though a process called photoevaporation, their surfaces are slowly boiling away. These pillars are several light-years long, but are only a fraction of the entire Eagle Nebula.