a photogenic study in cosmic contrasts, lies about
light-years away toward the
A star forming region in the plane of our galaxy,
the Trifid fittingly illustrates three basic types of
red emission nebulae dominated by
light from hydrogen atoms,
blue reflection nebulae produced
by dust reflecting starlight, and
dark absorption nebulae where
dense dust clouds appear in silhouette.
The bright red emission nebula, roughly separated into three
parts by obscuring dust lanes, lends the Trifid its popular name.
In this gorgeous
wide view, the red emission region is also surrounded by
the telltale blue haze of reflection nebulae.
Light-year long pillars and jets sculpted by
newborn stars - visible here below the center
of the emission nebula - appear in Hubble Space Telescope
of the region.