M20, The Trifid Nebula


    M20 (NGC 6514), Magnitude 9.0 Emission/Reflection/Dark Nebula, Size 28.0'x28.0', Constellation: Sagittarius.


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Tri-lobed M20 is famous with observers, but, frankly, doesn't really impress visually until you get to 12 inches of aperture under dark skies. Even then, more mirror is better.

Actually, M20 is composed of three types of nebula: a prominent (red) flower-like emission portion, dark nebulae which cross the emission area, and a faint blue reflection nebula that enwraps the entire object.

I was very pleased with the look of this object with the Stellacam, but my most memorable view of it so far has been through my 12 inch scope under the dark skies of the Texas Star Party. Not only was the lobed portion amazingly bright, the reflection nebulosity was also easy, and was of a different shade of gray when compared to the emission area...

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