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M20: Trifid Nebula in Sagittarius

RA = 18h 02 min; Dec = -23 deg 02 min

Date & Site:

Imaged on 08/02/13; Palomar Mtn, CA

No wind; 61 degrees, excellent seeing


Telescope: TEC 140 Refractor at F7 FL= 980 mm

Mount: Losmandy G-11 with Gemini
Camera: ST-10XME; CFW10 with Astrodon filters;

Prime focus guiding


Exposures: 90 min Lum; 30 min RGB each for a total of 3 hrs

FOV = 24 x 20 arc minutes

M20 is an HII region. Also known as the Trifid nebula because of the appearance of its three lobes. The object is an unusual combination of an open cluster, 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 trifid appearance.

In 2005,Using infrared optics, NASA's Spitzer telescope discovered 30 embryonic stars and 120 newborn stars.

Located 5200 light years away

Cropped and reduced 60% from original

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