VISTA views the Trifid Nebula and reveals hidden variable stars (annotated)

This small extract from the VISTA VVV survey of the central parts of the Milky Way shows the famous Trifid Nebula to the right of centre. It appears as faint and ghostly at these infrared wavelengths when compared to the familiar view at visible wavelengths. This transparency has brought its own benefits — many previously hidden background objects can now be seen clearly. Among these are two newly discovered Cepheid variable stars, the first ever spotted on the far side of the galaxy near its central plane.

The positions of the faint Cepheids are marked on this annotated version.


ESO/VVV consortium/D. Minniti

About the Image

Release date:4 February 2015, 12:00
Related releases:eso1504
Size:4447 x 3268 px

About the Object

Name:M 20, Messier 20, Trifid Nebula
Type:Milky Way : Nebula : Appearance : Dark

Image Formats

Large JPEG
6.0 MB
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