M20 Trifid Nebula

Barry Armstead

Joined July 2011

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Artist's Description

The Trifid Nebula (catalogued as Messier 20 or M20 and as NGC 6514) is located in Sagittarius. Its name means ‘divided into three lobes’. The object is an unusual combination of an open cluster of stars, 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. Viewed through a small telescope, the Trifid Nebula is a bright and colorful object, and is thus a perennial favorite of amateur astronomers.

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