APOD: Trifid Pillars and Jets (2020 Dec 22)

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APOD Robot
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APOD: Trifid Pillars and Jets (2020 Dec 22)

Post by APOD Robot » Tue Dec 22, 2020 5:05 am

Image Trifid Pillars and Jets

Explanation: Dust pillars are like interstellar mountains. They survive because they are more dense than their surroundings, but they are being slowly eroded away by a hostile environment. Visible in the featured picture is the end of a huge gas and dust pillar in the Trifid Nebula (M20), punctuated by a smaller pillar pointing up and an unusual jet pointing to the left. Many of the dots are newly formed low-mass stars. A star near the small pillar's end is slowly being stripped of its accreting gas by radiation from a tremendously brighter star situated off the top of the image. The jet extends nearly a light-year and would not be visible without external illumination. As gas and dust evaporate from the pillars, the hidden stellar source of this jet will likely be uncovered, possibly over the next 20,000 years.

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orin stepanek
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Re: APOD: Trifid Pillars and Jets (2020 Dec 22)

Post by orin stepanek » Tue Dec 22, 2020 2:15 pm

330px-Trifid.nebula.arp.750pix.jpg
Trifid_HubbleMehla_1080.jpg
A lot going on in this little Trifid Nebula! :D
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Mercury
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Re: APOD: Trifid Pillars and Jets (2020 Dec 22)

Post by Mercury » Tue Dec 22, 2020 4:56 pm

According to the cover story in the November 2019 Sky & Telescope, the Trifid Nebula is in the Sagittarius Arm of the Galaxy. That's the next spiral arm in toward the center of the Galaxy from the Local Arm, the spiral arm that contains the Sun and the Earth.

Here is a recent estimate of the distance of the Trifid Nebula from us:

Gonzalez et al. 2017: 5,100 light-years

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orin stepanek
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Re: APOD: Trifid Pillars and Jets (2020 Dec 22)

Post by orin stepanek » Wed Dec 23, 2020 1:41 pm

Hi Mercury; and welcome to APOD! 8-) :D
Orin

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