Astronomy Picture of the Day

Infrared Trifid

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Infrared Trifid


The Trifid Nebula,
aka M20,
is easy to find with a small telescope,
a well known stop in the
nebula rich

But where visible light pictures
show the nebula divided into
three parts by dark, obscuring dust lanes,
this penetrating infrared image
reveals filaments of luminous gas and newborn stars.

The spectacular false-color view is courtesy of the
Space Telescope

Astronomers have used the Spitzer
infrared image data
to count newborn and
stars which otherwise can lie hidden in the
natal dust and glowing clouds of this intriguing
stellar nursery.

As seen here, the Trifid is about 30 light-years across and
lies only 5,500 light-years away.

Huygens Probe Descends to Titan on Friday

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