NASA spacecraft sees storm of baby stars brewing in distant nebula

Jan. 30, 2014 at 6:53 PM
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PASADENA, Calif., Jan. 30 (UPI) -- NASA says its Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer has captured an image of a storm of stars brewing in a distant nebula, as baby stars burst into being.

The stellar nursery is located in the Trifid Nebula, where radiation and winds from massive stars have blown a cavity into the surrounding dust and gas, triggering the birth of new generations of stars, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., reported Thursday.

Yellow bars in the nebula appear to cut the cavity in the nebula into three sections, hence the name Trifid Nebula, JPL scientists said.

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

Colors in this image represent different wavelengths of infrared light detected by WISE, JPL said, with a main green cloud made up of hydrogen gas and the stellar nursery showing up in yellow and orange.

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