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NGC 1579 (Northern Trifid)
Nathan Breese

NGC 1579 is also known as the Northern Trifid. It has a very similar appearance to the Trifid Nebula found in the southern celestial hemisphere. NGC 1579 is a diffuse nebula and can be found in the constellation Perseus. It is made up of many H II regions. These are regions made of ionized hydrogen. Star formation has recently taken place in these regions, and small blue stars are responsible for emitting ultraviolet light that continue ionizing the hydrogen. This intense light reflects off the thick dust in the cloud and is responsible for the bright colors in the nebula. Unlike the Trifid Nebula, NGC 1579 has a massive star at its center responsible for emitting most of the light seen in the nebula.

This picture captures the brightness from the massive star at the center, the bright glowing H II regions and the large number of small, young, blue stars. Also, the large amount of dust can be seen by the "dust lanes" of darkness that are scattered throughout the nebula. The star at the center of the nebula cannot be seen in detail in this picture because of the amount of dust surrounding it, but its brightness is seen clearly. On the edges of the nebula, hundreds of small blue stars illuminate the dust a faint blue color. This is seen only on the edges because its brightness is much less than the center of the nebula. These are recently formed stars that are very hot. They are visible because of the light received from the blue filter.


NASA. (2013, June 7). A Hubble view of NGC 1579: The Trifid of the North.ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 5, 2016 from

Mathis, J. S. (2014, August 1). H II region. Retrieved May 05, 2016, from

NASA, Hubble, & ESA. (2013, June 3). NGC 1579: The Trifid of the North. Retrieved May 05, 2016, from

Nemiroff, R. (2012, March 9). NGC 1579: Trifid of the North. Retrieved May 05, 2016, from

Right Ascension (J2000) 04:30:14.2
Declination (J2000) 35:16:47
Filters used B (Blue), R (Red), V (Green)
Exposure x number of images for each filter B, V, and R (90s x 10)
Image dimension 375x375 pixels; 8.2x8.2 arcminutes
Date/time observed March 16, 2016, 03:20 UTC
Distance 550±100 pc
Scale 0.16 pc/arcminute



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