Digital Image: M20 – the Trifid Nebula

This is Messier 20, otherwise known as the Trifid Nebula, a emission / reflection nebula in Sagittarius.The Trifid can be found a couple degrees above the famous Lagoon Nebula.

The object is an unusual combination of an open cluster of stars; an emission nebula (the upper, red portion), a reflection nebula (the lower, blue portion) and a dark nebula (the apparent ‘gaps’ within the emission nebula) that cause the trifurcated appearance.

Click on the image for a larger version.

Image Info

Canon 60D with an Astronomik CLS LPR filter, at the prime focus of the KPO 18″ Reflector. 11 subframes of 120 seconds, for a total integration time of only 22 minutes. All frames taken at ISO 1600. Images captured in Nebulosity, processed in StarTools, and finished in Aperture.

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