M20 - The Trifid Nebula

M20 is a nebula about 5,000 light-years from Earth. It is a summer showpiece located in the constellation Sagittarius and is called the trifid nebula because of the appearance that it is split three ways in the middle.   There is also a blue reflection nebula above the main area of nebulosity.  The nebula is an easy target for astrophotographers.

This image was taken using a 6-inch F5 reflector and a modified Canon T3i set at ISO 800.  The resultant image is a stack of six five-minute exposures.

To the north of the M20, at the top of the frame, is the open cluster M21.


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