Beschreibung: The Trifid Nebula, aka Messier 20, is easy to find with a small telescope, a well known stop in the nebula rich constellation Sagittarius. But where visible light pictures show the nebula divided into three parts by dark, obscuring dust lanes, this penetrating infrared image reveals filaments of glowing dust clouds and newborn stars. The spectacular false-color view is courtesy of the Spitzer Space Telescope. Astronomers have used the Spitzer infrared image data to count newborn and embryonic stars which otherwise can lie hidden in the natal dust and gas clouds of this intriguing stellar nursery. As seen here, the Trifid is about 30 light-years across and lies only 5500 light-years away.
Beschreibung: We’re going in. The robotic Opportunity rover currently rolling across Mars has been prowling around the edge of the largest crater it has visited since landing over three years ago. It has been studying Victoria crater and looking for a way in. Now scientists on Earth have decided to take a calculated risk and plan to send Opportunity right into this ancient Martian crater over the next few weeks. Pictured is Cape St. Vincent, part of the wall of Victoria Crater next to where Opportunity will descend. The wall itself appears to contain clues about the Martian terrain before the impact that created Victoria crater, and so will be studied during the daring descent. Above the crater wall, far in the distance, lies a relatively featureless Martian horizon.