Trifid Nebula by Kimberly and Laurie Sibbald

Photo of the Week for August 3, 2018

Trifid Nebula by Kimberly and Laurie SibbaldThe Sagittarius Milky Way is a happy hunting ground for deep-sky enthusiasts. Among the region’s greatest prizes are the nebula pair of M8 and M20, better known as the Lagoon Nebula and the Trifid Nebula. Because the much larger Lagoon is so showy, its northerly neighbour doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Perhaps that’s why this image showing M20 alone is so striking. Seen in isolation, we can appreciate the Trifid’s many interesting features, including the three lanes of dark nebulosity that give the object its name. But there’s another reason the Trifid moniker is so apt—it’s really three nebulas in one. First, there’s the aforementioned dark lanes; second, the main, rosy emission nebula; and third, a fog of bluish-white reflection nebulosity.

This lovely Trifid portrait was captured on June 12, 2018, by the team of Kimberly and Laurie Sibbald, from Calgary, Alberta. They used a modified Canon EOS 5D Mark II DSLR camera and 8-inch Celestron Edge HD Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope to record a total exposure of 2 hours from the dark skies of Arches National Park in Moab, Utah.

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