SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Mount Wilson Fire, Nebula, More

 SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Mount Wilson Fire, Nebula, More
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August 26, 2009--Dark bands cross the glowing gases and dust of the Trifid Nebula in a new picture of an old favorite taken by the La Silla Paranal Observatory in Chile.

First observed in 1764, the Trifid Nebula is actually a combination of three nebulae, each a different type. The lobe at upper left is a so-called reflection nebula, which is illuminated by reflected light from nearby stars, the largest of which shines most brightly in the blue part of the visible spectrum. The pink heart of the assemblage is an emission nebula full of fierce young stars heating hydrogen gas, while the crisscrossing tendrils, known as dark nebulae, show where gravity is causing the remnants of star birth to coalesce.
— Image courtesy ESO
 
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