The Trifid Nebula, M20

This picture shows the Trifid Nebula, also known as Messier 20, which is located in the constellation Sagittarius in the southern summer sky (for northern latitudes). This star forming region shows some of the most distinctive color patterns one could hope to see! The diffuse pink glow arises from hydrogen gas that is excited by hot stars in the gas; the diffuse blue glow, on the other hand, is a dusty region that scatters nearby star light into our direction. The dark regions cutting through the emission are actually foreground clouds of dust that are blocking out background light.

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