Storm of Stars in the Trifid Nebula

Wise_wise2014-001_1024

wise_WISE2014-001 January 29th, 2014

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

A storm of stars is brewing in the Trifid nebula, as seen in this view from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. The stellar nursery, where baby stars are bursting into being, is the yellow-and-orange object dominating the picture. Yellow bars in the nebula appear to cut a cavity into three sections, hence the name Trifid nebula.

Colors in this image represent different wavelengths of infrared light detected by WISE. The main green cloud is made up of hydrogen gas. Within this cloud is the Trifid nebula, where radiation and winds from massive stars have blown a cavity into the surrounding dust and gas, and presumably triggered the birth of new generations of stars. Dust glows in infrared light, so the three lines that make up the Trifid, while appearing dark in visible-light views, are bright when seen by WISE.

The blue stars scattered around the picture are older, and they lie between Earth and the Trifid nebula. The baby stars in the Trifid will eventually look similar to those foreground stars. The red cloud at upper right is gas heated by a group of very young stars.

The Trifid nebula is located 5,400 light-years away in the constellation Sagittarius.

Blue represents light emitted at 3.4-micron wavelengths, and cyan (blue-green) represents 4.6 microns, both of which come mainly from hot stars. Relatively cooler objects, such as the dust of the nebula, appear green and red. Green represents 12-micron light and red, 22-micron light.

Image Source: /image/wise/WISE2014-001

Curator: Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer

Image Use Policy: Public Domain

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Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Trifid Nebula M20
Subject - Milky Way
Nebula » Type » Star Formation

Distance

Universescale1
5,400 light years
Wise_wise2014-001_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 18h 1m 38.1s
DEC = -22° 43’ 0.0”
Orientation
North is up
Field of View
1.6 x 1.6 degrees
Constellation
Sagittarius

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_blue WISE Infrared (Near-IR) 3.4 µm
Arrow_left_cyan WISE Infrared (Near-IR) 4.6 µm
Arrow_left_green WISE Infrared (Mid-IR) 12.0 µm
Arrow_left_red WISE Infrared (Mid-IR) 22.0 µm
Spectrum_ir1
Arrow_top_blue
Arrow_top_cyan
Arrow_top_green
Arrow_top_red
Wise_wise2014-001_1280
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ID
WISE2014-001
Subject Category
B.4.1.2  
Subject Name
Trifid Nebula, M20
Credits
NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA
Lightyears
5,400
Redshift
Reference Url
/image/wise/WISE2014-001
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
WISE, WISE, WISE, WISE
Instrument
Color Assignment
Blue, Cyan, Green, Red
Band
Infrared, Infrared, Infrared, Infrared
Bandpass
Near-IR, Near-IR, Mid-IR, Mid-IR
Central Wavelength
3400, 4600, 12000, 22000
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
2000
Reference Value
270.408624, -22.716667
Reference Dimension
4095, 4095
Reference Pixel
2048, 2048
Scale
-3.81944439141100e-004, 3.81944439141100e-004
Rotation
0
Coordinate System Projection:
SIN
Quality
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer
URL
http://wise.astro.ucla.edu
Name
Email
outreach@ssl.berkeley.edu
Telephone
Address
City
State/Province
Postal Code
Country
Rights
Public Domain
Publisher
Publisher ID
wise
Resource ID
Resource URL
/image/wise/WISE2014-001
Related Resources
Metadata Date
2018-01-11T02:57:00Z
Metadata Version
1.2
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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Universescalefull
5,400 light years