What you see above does not exist. It did once, and will continue to be viewable for about a thousand years.
The formation is called “The Pillars of Creation”, and consists of gas and matter coalescing into planets and stars, but it isn’t doing that anymore. In fact, it was destroyed about six thousand years before the telescope that enabled us to see it was invented.
Being in a nebula, it is surrounded by stars of various ages. Somewhere around eight or nine thousand years ago, one of those stars went supernova. It was probably visible from Earth. The shock wave from that supernova is estimated to have taken a couple of thousand years to reach the pillars. Since they’re seven thousand light years away from us, we still see the pillars as they existed before the shock wave destroyed them some six thousand years ago. If that star was closer to the Earth than the pillars, we might already have seen the flash, it might have been the one of 6 August 1181.
The sky we see at night is the light from thousands of years ago. Some of those stars have gone supernova, we just haven’t received the light from that event yet.
As we consider traveling between the stars, our concepts of time need to be adjusted. We aim for targets that may no longer exist, or may not exist by the time we reach them. By the time we see the pillars destroyed, there will be other stars that have or are being created that exist behind them that we will be able to see. The universe is not only constantly changing, it has already changed in ways that we can’t yet see due to the speed of light.
Considering the distances involved, this should humble us. We see constellations, because the points appear on a flat curtain of night, when in fact from a different angle, different in the range of the distance of another star to here, those constellations appear differently. When we think of things we see, in fact, the stars that we can see are within our own galaxy. The Milky Way is just an arm of our galaxy.
Other galaxies, such as Andromeda (M31) are millions of light years away. Andromeda was once thought to be a star, until telescopes revealed its nature. When we consider our reach, Voyager, traveling for the last thirty six years, is just reaching the edge of our solar system (the enlarged section of the illustration above).
This is our world. We more than likely will never visit another that we can live on within the span of our species’ existence. There is no running away, there is no escape. Why do we think we can make another world habitable when we can’t manage to “terraform” Earth?
I think that is how it should be. If we can’t make Homo Sapiens work on this planet, why should we foul another?