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Hubble and NOAO Visible-Light Composite of the Trifid Nebula
Ssc2005 02b3


Observation • March 31st, 2004 • ssc2005-02b3


Visible-light images of the Trifid taken with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, Baltimore, Md. (inset) and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, Tucson, Ariz., (background image) show a murky cloud lined with dark trails of dust. Data of this same region from the Institute for Radioastronomy millimeter telescope in Spain revealed four dense knots, or cores, of dust, which are "incubators" for embryonic stars. Astronomers thought these cores were not yet ripe for stars, until Spitzer spotted the warmth of rapidly growing massive embryos tucked inside.

About the Object

Trifid NebulaMessier 20M20
Nebula > Type > Star Formation
Star > Evolutionary Stage > Protostar
5,400 Light Years

Color Mapping

Band Wavelength Telescope
Optical KPNO
Optical Hubble


Position (J2000)
RA =18h 2m 23.8s
Dec = -23° 2' 45.0"
Field of View
0.0 x 0.0 arcminutes
North is 1.9° left of vertical