ROYAL OBSERVATORY, EDINBURGH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL OBSERVATORY, EDINBURGH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Optical image of the Trifid Nebula (M20, NGC 6514) in the constellation of Sagittarius. The pink part of the nebula is a glowing cloud of hydrogen gas ionised & lit up by a bright central star. It is crossed by dark lanes of interstellar dust which absorb and scatter the emitted light. It is a HII region which is probably the site where new stars are being born from the gas & dust. The blue area is a reflection nebula, a cloud of cooler hydrogen gas which reflects the light of the bright star at its centre.
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