2005, NASA Flashback: Stellar Incubators Seen Cooking up Stars

This image was taken in 2005 by NASA/JPL-Caltech/NOAO/STScI. Still, it blows our mind to this day.

The Trifid Nebula is a giant star-forming cloud of gas and dust located 5,400 light-years away in the constellation Sagittarius, seen here by NASA Spitzer Space Telescope.
The Trifid Nebula is a giant star-forming cloud of gas and dust located 5,400 light-years away in the constellation Sagittarius, seen here by NASA Spitzer Space Telescope.

This image composite compares visible-light and infrared views from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope of the glowing Trifid Nebula, a giant star-forming cloud of gas and dust located 5,400 light-years away in the constellation Sagittarius. Visible-light images of the Trifid taken with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, Baltimore, Md. (inside left, figure 1) and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, Tucson, Ariz., (outside left, figure 1) show a murky cloud lined with dark trails of dust. Data of this same region from the Institute for Radioastronomy millimeter telescope in Spain revealed four dense knots, or cores, of dust (outlined by yellow circles), which are “incubators” for embryonic stars. Astronomers thought these cores were not yet ripe for stars, until Spitzer spotted the warmth of rapidly growing massive embryos tucked inside.
by NASA

Related Images

Spitzer Space Telescope
Spitzer Space Telescope
Trifid Nebula
Trifid Nebula
Sagittarius
Sagittarius
Hubble Space Telescope
Hubble Space Telescope
Tucson
Tucson
Baltimore
Baltimore
Spain
Spain