M20-The Trifid Nebula


The Trifid Nebula (which is also known as M20, Messier 20, NGC 6514, and Barnard 85 for the dark nebula) is an H II region in the north-west of Sagittarius in a star-forming region in the Milky Way’s Scutum-Centaurus Arm. M20 was discovered by Charles Messier on June 5, 1764. The Trifid name means ‘three-lobe’. The object itself is an unusual combination of an open cluster of stars, an emission nebula (the relatively dense, reddish-pink portion), a reflection nebula (the mainly blue portion), and a dark nebula (the apparent ‘gaps’ in the former that cause the trifurcated appearance).

Messier 20, The Trifid Nebula

This previous image shows the relationship to M8, The Lagoon Nebula, as shown in the diagram above.

M20 and M8 in Sagittarius

Thanks for Looking, Steve