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Trifid Nebula M20, optical image

Trifid Nebula M20, optical image

C017/3720

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Credit

ROBERT GENDLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROBERT GENDLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Trifid Nebula (M20, NGC 6514), optical image. The Trifid Nebula lies around 9000 light years from Earth in the constellation Sagittarius. Part of this nebula (cloud of gas and dust) glows red due to the ionisation of the hydrogen gas by the hot and bright stars born at its centre. This is called an emission nebula. The M20 emission nebula is partially obscured by a dark nebula (B85) in front of it, causing the three-lobed appearance. The M20 nebula is not all ionised, with parts of it reflecting starlight as a blue colour. Imaged by the Moorook Observatory, Australia.

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