The central portion of the Trifid Nebula, in the constellation of Sagittarius, looks a bit like a scene from J.R.R. Tolkien's middle earth, complete with knotty tree branches, a gnome and bright fairies floating about. Instead, this central scene is actually a vast stellar nursery for creating new stars out of molecular hydrogen and dust located 5,000 light years from our planet.

Three types of nebulae are present here: that which glows red due to the emission of light from the hydrogen, vast amounts that are reflecting light from the bright nearby stars and dark, tangled lanes that absorb light due to their dust density.