ROYAL OBSERVATORY, EDINBURGH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL OBSERVATORY, EDINBURGH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Optical image of the Lagoon Nebula (M8, NGC 6523) & the Trifid Nebula (M20, NGC 6514). Located some 3500 light years away in the constellation of Sagittarius, the nebulae are clouds of interstellar gas & dust. Their red glow comes from hydrogen gas ionised & lit up by hot young stars with the nebulae. The blue part of the Trifid Nebula (top) is a cooler dust cloud which reflects the blue light of hot stars. The photograph was taken with the 1.2m UK Schmidt Telescope in Australia.
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