Trifid nebula (M20), optical image. This is the centre of the Trifid nebula, which is a region of star birth. The reddish area is an emission nebula, where radiation from hot, newly formed stars ionises the surrounding gas and causes it to glow. The dark patterns across the nebula are caused by dark dust clouds in the foreground that obscure the light from behind. The nebula lies in the constellation Sagittarius. This image was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST).
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