M20 - Trifid Nebula
Location: Warrumbungle Observatory, Australia (149 11 E, 31 16 S)
Date: Various dates during July 2012
Telescope: William Optics M120
Frames: Forteen 600 second exposures in luminance and eleven 300 second exposures for each
Processing: Stacked in CCDStack, balanced, curves, highlights and sharpened Photoshop SC5.
Text from APOD: Unspeakable beauty and
unimaginable bedlam can be found together in the Trifid Nebula. Also known as M20, this photogenic nebula is
visible with good binoculars towards the constellation of Sagittarius. The energetic processes of star formation
create not only the colors but the chaos. The red-glowing gas results from high-energy starlight striking
interstellar hydrogen gas. The dark dust filaments that lace M20 were created in the atmospheres of cool giant
stars and in the debris from supernovae explosions. Which bright young stars light up the blue reflection nebula is
still being investigated. The light from M20 we see today left perhaps 3,000 years ago, although the exact distance
remains unknown. Light takes about 50 years to cross M20.