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Trifid Nebula

Trifid Nebula

R576/0086

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Credit

NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Trifid Nebula (M20, NGC 6514), Spitzer Space Telescope infrared image. This nebula is located 5,400 light years away in the constellation Sagittarius. The infrared telescope enabled scientists to view the star formation within the nebula. Within each of the four red dust clouds, comprising the lower object, there are embryonic stars. Because particles falling towards these stars get hotter with their increased energy, Spitzer can see them. It is believed that our Sun was formed in such a region, but its small size led to it being gravitationally expelled. This image was taken by Spitzer's MIPS camera.

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