The Trifid Nebula
Constellation: Sagittarius, the teapot
Foreground clouds of dust trisect this luminous nebula. This object is a rare combination of emission, absorption and reflection components. The hydrogen gas emits a beautiful pink glow, the dust absorbs light making it appear dark, and other parts of the nebula scatter and reflect the bluish light of the very hot stars embedded within the cloud. This nebula lies in the direction of Sagittarius and towards the center of our galaxy some 5,000 light years distant.
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