The summer sky never disappoints us, especially the jeweled region of the southern Milky Way. Rising up out of steam from the pot of Sagittarius we find one sparkly pretty after another. Here I present to you a nebula known as The Trifid.
I shot this using a 8″ f/4 TPO Newtonian with a Canon 5d. This is a combination of 3 – 2 minute images, combined, processed to bring out the color range. Click on it to see full scale.
The Trifid Nebula (catalogued as Messier 20 or M20 and as NGC 6514) is an H II region located in Sagittarius. It was discovered by Charles Messier on June 5, 1764. Its name means ‘divided into three lobes’. The object is an unusual combination of an open cluster of stars; an emission nebula (the lower, red portion), a reflection nebula (the upper, blue portion) and a dark nebula (the apparent ‘gaps’ within the emission nebula that cause the trifurcated appearance; these are also designated Barnard 85). Viewed through a small telescope, the Trifid Nebula is a bright and peculiar object, and is thus a perennial favorite of amateur astronomers.