Wide-Field View of the Trifid Nebula

April 28, 2017

TrifidM20-13Lights-TakaDSA-net (1)

Photographer: Miguel Claro
Summary Author: Miguel Claro

Shown above is a wide-field view of the striking Trifid Nebula, surrounded by an ocean of colorful stars, as observed during the summer of 2016 from the Dark Sky Reserve near Alqueva, Portugal. The Trifid Nebula (M20) lies about 5200 light-years away in the direction of the constellation of Sagittarius. It's illuminated by a hot star near its center. First observed by Charles Messier in 1764, as its name implies, it appears to be made up of three lobes. M20 actually consists of an open cluster of stars, an emission nebula (the pinkish portion), a reflection nebula (shown in blue) and a dark nebula forming the dust lanes, also known as Barnard 85, that defines the Trifid's three lobes. Lying in a star-forming region in the Scutum spiral arm of the Milky Way, the Trifid is a young nebula, approximately 300,000 years old.

Photo Details: Taka FSQ-106ED  telescope  extender-Q 1.6x plus Q 1.6x – EM200 auto-guided Nikon D810a camera; DX format (1,5x);| ISO 2500; Exp. 240 seconds exposure (x 13 lights); total integration of 52 minutes; processing on PixInsight 1.8 and CS6.