Today's Top Story : separators disc
June Wenesday 28, 2017 at 14:35
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Today's Picture

The beautiful Trifid Nebula,also known as Messier 20, lies about 5,000 light-years away, acolorful study in cosmic contrasts .It shares this nearly 1 degree wide field withopen star cluster Messier 21 (top left).Trisected by dust lanesthe Trifid itself is about 40 light-years across anda mere 300,000 years old.That makes it one of the youngest starforming regions in our sky, with newborn and embryonic stars embeddedin its natal dust and gas clouds .Estimates of the distance to open star cluster M21 are similar to M20's,but though they share this gorgeous telescopic skyscapethere is no apparent connection between the two.M21's stars are much older, about 8 million yearsold .M20 and M21 are easy tofind with even a small telescope in the nebula rich constellationSagittarius.In fact, this well-composed scene is a composite from two different telescopes .Using narrowband data it blends a high resolution image of M20 with awider field image extending to M21.


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