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The Trifid Nebula M20 is a rare combination of an emission and reflection nebula. Hot young stars in the southern part of the Trifid have excited the hydrogen atoms in the surrounding gas, causing them to emit red light. In the northern part of the Trifid, in contrast, the stars are not hot enough to excite the gas; but the blue glow of the starlight being reflected by a myriad of dust particles is dominant in this color exposure. Some dust lanes which are not illuminated by starlight run in front of the emission nebula, forming the famous Trifid lines.M21, which is a loose star cluster of a few stars, is situated to left and slightly above the Trifid Nebula.
M8 and M20 - Trifid and Trifid Nebulae, Wright-Newtonian photograph and CCD-image, which is part of this image.
M20 - Trifid Nebula in Hα, which is part of this image.
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© 2014 Walter Koprolin