The spectacular Trifid Nebula or NGC 6512 is a vivid cloud of cosmic dust and gas that works as a stellar host for newborn stars.
In 1764, the French astronomer Charles Messier discovered it. He initially named it Messier 20. However, its current name emerges from the Latin word “trifid” which means ‘divided into three lobes’ since it has dark dust paths creating three sections in the form of the peace sign.
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Trifid Nebula extends 5,000 light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Sagittarius the Archer.
This bright and colorful galaxy divides a crowded star reach with the open star cluster Messier 21. This cluster can be spotted at the top right of this beautiful scenery.
Experts calculated the distance between both objects to be quite the same. However, these two entities share only a gorgeous sky scene and no other association.
Trifid Nebula indeed does depict three distinct kinds of astronomical nebulas.
First, the lower portion which is a red effusion nebula influenced by light from hydrogen atoms. Second, the upper portion, a blue nebula generated by the dust reproducing starlight. Third, dark nebulas that emerge from three dust lanes, together known as Barnard 85.
The whole Nebula fords around 40 light-years across and it’s 300,000 years old. Therefore, it’s one of the youngest star-forming areas in the Scutum spiral arm of the Milky Way.
It includes newborn stars set in its natal dust and gas clouds. But, a hot young star in the heart of it brightens all the neighboring clouds.
Observations originating from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope in January 2005 resulted in a discovery of 30 massive embryonic stars and another 120 smaller newly formed stars. They weren’t previously seen in visible light images.
In the northern hemisphere, the nebula is best noticeable in the summer months, when Sagittarius climbs higher in the sky.