December 2014
S M T W T F S
« Nov    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  
News for Norther Colorado and the world

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Astronomy Picture of the Day

The beautiful Trifid Nebula is a cosmic study in colorful contrasts. Also known as M20, it lies about 5,000 light-years away toward the nebula rich constellation Sagittarius. A star forming region in the plane of our galaxy

ngc6514 gabany 670x670 Astronomy Picture of the Day

A Beautiful Trifid
Image Credit & Copyright: R Jay Gabany

Explanation: The beautiful Trifid Nebula is a cosmic study in colorful contrasts. Also known as M20, it lies about 5,000 light-years away toward the nebula rich constellation Sagittarius. A star forming region in the plane of our galaxy, the Trifid illustrates three different types of astronomical nebulae; red emission nebulae dominated by light emitted by hydrogen atoms, blue reflection nebulae produced by dust reflecting starlight, and dark nebulae where dense dust clouds appear in silhouette. The bright red emission region, roughly separated into three parts by obscuring, dark dust lanes, lends the Trifid its popular name. In this well met scene, the red emission is also juxtaposed with the telltale blue haze of reflection nebulae. Pillars and jets sculpted by newborn stars, below and left of the emission nebula’s center, appear in Hubble Space Telescope close-up images of the region. The Trifid Nebula is about 40 light-years across.

 

 

Visit the NASA/JPL website to view more Astronomy Pictures of the Day

Print This Post Print This Post