M20 - The Trifid Nebula
The Trifid Nebula in Sagittarius is so named because of its three dark rifts. The bright multiple star system in the center of the Trifid is HN 40 and is possibly the source of illumination of the nebula.
The red-glowing gas is from high-energy photons impacting interstellar hydrogen gas which causes the gas to emit red light. The dark rifts are likely remnants from supernova explosions while the blue gas is a reflection nebula. Additional images and information about this nebula can be found at the Messier Index - M20.
The above image is an LRGB composite from a 48-minute monochrome image (shown below) taken on 26 July 2008 combined with 20-minute each red, green, and blue-filtered images obtained on 27 July 2008. The images were obtained with a William Optics FLT110 4.2" f/7 refractor and an SXV-H9 CCD camera.
Click on the images to view the fullsize version.
The above image is a color composite of both a 780-second monochrome ccd image that was obtained on 8 September 2002 combined with a 30-minute color film image taken on 29 July 1997 with a 16" Newtonian Starfinder telescope and self-built Cookbook CB245 camera.
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