M 20, the “Trifid Nebula” – Sgr
Undoubtedly among the most beautiful diffuse nebulae in the sky, Messier 20 is a remarkable deep sky object, with a breathtaking color combination, ranging from blue to deep red and purple: this is because this gem combines both an emission and reflection nebula.
A young star cluster close to the center of the nebula is responsible of the red emission and it is surrounded by a reflecting area, with the contrasting, elegant blue hue.
Distance to this object is relatively uncertain and a mean of the modern estimates puts Messier 20 at about 5.000 light years.
The image above is a LRGB combination: the luminance is the average of 15, 120-seconds unfiltered exposures, while the RGB component comes from 3×120-seconds exposure in each channel. All the images were remotely taken with the PlaneWave 17″ robotic unit part of the Virtual Telescope.
Support The Virtual Telescope Project!
If everyone reading this right now would donate something, our fundraiser would be done in a few days. Please, donate and receive unique, LIMITED EDITION set of images of the Jupiter-Saturn Great Conjunction, images of the International Space Station above Rome and more, specifically made for supporters like you!
donate now (you can adjust the amount later)