The Trifid Nebula, also known as Messier 20, is a well-known stop for skywatchers in the nebula rich constellation Sagittarius. Visible light pictures show the nebula divided into three parts by dark, obscuring dust lanes, but this penetrating infrared image, courtesy of the Spitzer Space Telescope, reveals filaments of glowing dust clouds and newborn stars. As seen here, the Trifid is about 30 light-years across and lies only 5,500 light-years away.
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