Messier 20 - The Triffid Nebula


The Trifid Nebula, also known as Messier 20 (M20), is a large star-forming region located in the southern constellation Sagittarius.

The nebula’s name means “divided into three lobes,” and refers to the object consisting of three types of nebulae and an open star cluster. The open cluster is surrounded by an emission nebula, a reflection nebula, and a dark nebula within the emission nebula that gives M20 the trifurcated appearance for which it is known. The dark nebula was catalogued by Edward Barnard and has the designation Barnard 85 (B85). This image was taken on June 4, 2016 with a total exposure time of 2 1/2 hours. Temperatures at the beginning of the session were over 100 degrees, so the camera cooler was struggling to keep up with the heat. 

I have a wider view of this nebula taken in 2013 with a different camera and optical path. The current image shows more detail in the emission nebula and the dark clouds at the center of the object. 

All images © Mel Martin 2021     Contact Me