M20 (Trifid nebula)


Well,not much has been happening here on the observing/imaging front.The weather has been pretty much the villian.I do like summer but,the heat and humidity have got to go!.Most every night I look up at the sky and can only resolve just a smattering of stars.The next couple of nights MAY be a bit better for observing but,with a moon that is just slightly past full I’m not going to hold my breath.The weekend (at this point)looks to be somewhat better for observing but,unfortunately all of the heat and humidity is forecast to return with a vengeance.I guess this is what people call the “Dog days of summer”….personally,I’m a cat person!!!!.
A while back,not so long ago I had my scope pointed towards the constellation Sagittarius.I was searching for asteroid Vesta and did manage to capture some images of the area that is was to be in but,with rather short exposures due to a street light that was in the vicinity,I couldn’t decide which bright star it was even with a up todate starmap.I’m the type of person that likes visual comparisons to confirm a observation.
Anyhoo,since I had the scope pointed in that general direction,I thought why not get some images of some nice looking nebs?.I ended up waiting perhaps an hour for them to rise high enough to image.The new problem now was,because of the time of year they were still quite low in the southern skies which caused me to image near some trees or to be honest….through the trees.To put a long story short “I wasted my time but at least I tried”.
The images that I shot are not blog worthy so I will post a image that I shot last fall.I reprocessed them…again using PS Elements and astronomy tools for PS.Gotta love the astronomy tools plugin for Photoshop!.

Located in the constellation Sagittarius at a visual mag of +9.0,the Trifid nebula can easily be distinguished from most other nebs due to it’s three obvious lobes.At a distance of 5000 +- light years, the Trifid nebula M20 is situated roughly 2 degrees northwest of the larger Lagoon Nebula M8, so that both nebulae form a nice target for wide field photographs.

Information courtesy of SEDS

Image credit:Me!

Taken in the fall of 2006

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2 Responses to “M20 (Trifid nebula)”

  1. Nice image. Do you remember the details of your exposure time, eyepiece used, etc.
    I’m looking forward to getting some scope time in tonight. I was out Sat. before the clouds came in but it was barely dark enough do anything. Hope we both have better luck with the weather soon.

  2. Hi Michael,if memory serves,the image was taken at prime focus and the ISO was set at 200.The exposure time I believe was about 2 minutes.Anything past that would have introduced lots of unwanted redness to the shot due to the fact that I was shooting just above a street light.
    Yeah,the skies have been pretty nasty for about 3 weeks now.Sharing the same patch of woods,we both feel each others pain of bad skies.
    Hope you have some good seeing tonight.I unfortunately won’t beable to get the scope out until Saturday night.*sigh*

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