Trifid Nebula

78. Trifid Nebula


Messier 20  RA: 18h 02.3'  Dec: -23 02'   Sagittarius (Sgr)

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The Trifid Nebula (catalogued as Messier 20 or M20 and as NGC 6514) is an H II region in the north-west of Sagittarius in a star-forming region in a nearby spiral arm's Scutum-centered part. It was discovered by Charles Messier on June 5, 1764. Its name means 'three-lobe'. The object is an unusual combination of an open cluster of stars, an emission nebula (a relatively dense, red-yellow portion), a reflection nebula (the mainly NNE blue portion), and a dark nebula (the apparent 'gaps' in the former that cause the trifurcated appearance 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.The most massive star that has formed in this region is HD 164492A, an O7.5III star with a mass more than 20 times the mass of the Sun.

This star is surrounded by a cluster of approximately 3100 young stars.
 

Image Information

Location Starfest ON
Date Aug 27 2011
Optics AstroTech AT8IN
Filters Baader MPCC
Mount Celestron CGE
Camera Canon/Hutech 500DH
ISO 800
Subexposures 11
Exposure Length 300
Guider WO ZS66SD/ST-4
 

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All images copyright © 2006-2021, Rick Saunders
Main text descriptions sourced from Wikipaedia.
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