the trifid nebula

The beautiful Trifid Nebula, also known as Messier 20, lies about 5,000 light-years away, a colorful cosmic sky. It shares this field with open star cluster Messier 21 (top left). 

The Trifid nebula is about 40 light-years across and a mere 300,000 years old. That makes it one of the youngest star forming regions in our sky. M20 and M21 are easy to find with even a small telescope in the nebula rich constellation Sagittarius. In fact, this well-composed scene is a composite from two different telescopes.

Image Credit & Copyright: Martin Pugh

Nebula Correspondences
  • Abell 36: tranquility, peace, insight, clarity, knowledge 
  • Abell 78: invisibility, protection
  •  Ant Nebula: communication, strength, power, energy, success, diligence 
  • Barnard’s Loop: vitality, survival, movement, motivation, strength, valor
  • Boomerang Nebula: communication, truth, astral projection
  • California Nebula: assistance, opportunity, finances, passion, creativity, competition, energy, emotional strength, pride
  • Carina Nebula: spirituality, inspiration, purification, protection, travel
  • Cat’s Eye Nebula: beauty, perception, divination, wisdom, mysticism, the unknown
  • Cone Nebula: motivation, confidence; revenge, general cursing
  • Dumbbell Nebula: abundance, prosperity, healing, emotional strength, new beginnings, opportunities
  • Eagle Nebula: wisdom, justice, growth, magic, success, business ventures
  • Egg Nebula: rebirth, spirituality
  • Elephant Trunk Nebula: creativity, ancient energies and knowledge, gentleness, patience, compassion, memory, diligence
  • Engraved Hourglass Nebula: divination, knowledge, protection, vision, intuition; banishment, cursing others, curse redirection
  • Eskimo nebula: money, protection, balance, mental awareness, focus, mental and psychic clarity
  • Flame Nebula: passion, love, lust, ambition, happiness, energy, empowerment, alertness, good health; anger, war, revenge
  • Ghost Nebula: divination, protection, banishment, removing curses, protection in sleep, spirit communication
  • Heart Nebula: love, romance, family, beauty, lust, fertility, fidelity, self-love, emotional healing, passion, friendship, joy
  • Helix Nebula: psychic protection, psychic awareness, drive away evil
  • Hen 2-47: Money, prosperity, fortune, joy Iris Nebula: wisdom, spirit work, guards secrets
  • Horsehead Nebula: inspiration, freedom, sexuality, fertility, intimidation, brings nightmares to enemies 
  • IC 434: Respect, strength, abundance
  • IC 405: protection, rebirth, bonds, guidance, self-love, emotional balance 
  • IC 2118: tranquility, sleep and dreams
  • Lagoon Nebula: divination, empowerment, intelligence, improves communication
  • Lemon Slice Nebula: joy, friendship, cleansing, protection from baneful magick
  • Little Dumbbell Nebula: self-love, emotional healing
  • Little Ghost Nebula: protection, purification
  • Medusa Nebula: charisma, beauty, healing, protection from harm
  • Messier 78: balance, banishment, binding 
  • North American Nebula: renewal, motivation 
  • Omega Nebula: creativity, closing things or ceremonies, starting anew
  • Orion Nebula: independence, psychic awareness, psychic protection, mental clarity, wisdom, beauty, glamour, brings change
  • Owl Nebula: protection during sleep, meditation, intuition, wisdom, clarity 
  • Red Rectangle Nebula: strength, courage, focus, empowerment in times of trial
  • Saturn Nebula: protection, honesty, sincerity, justice and law, time, spiritual awareness, intelligence, wisdom, chaos, spirituality
  • Shapley 1: protection, wishes
  • Southern Owl Nebula: self reflection, honesty
  • Spirograph Nebula: beauty, motivation, energy, self-empowerment, the arts, creativity, confidence
  • Ring Nebula: calm, honesty, friendship, family, protection of the home, respect
  • Tarantula Nebula: dreams, mysticism, creation, new beginnings, binding, chaos, illusion, deceptions 
  • Trifid Nebula: birth, youth, creation, growth
  • Stingray Nebula: prosperity, compassion, healing, maturity, good fortune
  • Veil Nebula: travel, astral projection, realm travel
  • Westerhout 5: growth, connections to the natural world, self-improvement, breaking down barriers, life, harmony, hope, healing
  • Wolf Rayet Nebula: independence, guidance, truth, hope, communication, ambition 

**special thanks to @cosmic-witch for going through this for me

The beautiful Trifid Nebula, also known as Messier 20, lies about 5,000 light-years away, a colorful study in cosmic contrasts. It shares this nearly 1 degree wide field with open star cluster Messier 21 (top left). Trisected by dust lanes the Trifid itself is about 40 light-years across and a mere 300,000 years old. That makes it one of the youngest star forming regions in our sky, with newborn and embryonic stars embedded in its natal dust and gas clouds. Estimates of the distance to open star cluster M21 are similar to M20’s, but though they share this gorgeous telescopic skyscape there is no apparent connection between the two. M21’s stars are much older, about 8 million years old. M20 and M21 are easy to find with even a small telescope in the nebula rich constellation Sagittarius. In fact, this well-composed scene is a composite from two different telescopes. Using narrowband data it blends a high resolution image of M20 with a wider field image extending to M21.

Image Credit & Copyright: Martin Pugh

Composite Messier 20 and 21 : The beautiful Trifid Nebula, also known as Messier 20, lies about 5,000 light-years away, a colorful study in cosmic contrasts. It shares this nearly 1 degree wide field with open star cluster Messier 21 . Trisected by dust lanes the Trifid itself is about 40 light-years across and a mere 300,000 years old. That makes it one of the youngest star forming regions in our sky, with newborn and embryonic stars embedded in its natal dust and gas clouds. Estimates of the distance to open star cluster M21 are similar to M20s, but though they share this gorgeous telescopic skyscape there is no apparent connection between the two. M21s stars are much older, about 8 million years old. M20 and M21 are easy to find with even a small telescope in the nebula rich constellation Sagittarius. In fact, this well-composed scene is a composite from two different telescopes. Using narrowband data it blends a high resolution image of M20 with a wider field image extending to M21. via NASA

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this is not a horoscope thing

ARIES: contains the dwarf galaxy segue 2 which is a satellite galaxy of the milky way, discovered in 2009.

TAURUS: northwest of ζ tauri is m1, the crab nebula, a supernova remnant. the supernova occurred on july 4, 1054 and was bright enough to see throughout the day. 

GEMINI: the geminids meteor shower peaks during december 13-14 with a rate of approximately 100 meteors per hour, making it one of the most grand.

CANCER: most known for the open cluster m44, or the beehive cluster. it’s the nearest open cluster to us at approximately 520-610 light years.

LEO: ngc 3628, or sarah’s galaxy, is an unbarred spiral galaxy that was discovered in 1784. it’s part of the leo triplet, along with m65 and m66.

VIRGO: contains the first quasar to be identified as such, quasar 3c 273, and lies at the center of a giant elliptical galaxy. 

LIBRA: gliese 581 is a red dwarf star about 20 light years away with a planetary system of 3 known planets and 2 unconfirmed. for a time gliese 581 c was considered potentially habitable but has been dismissed as such. 

SCORPIUS: α scorpii, also known as antares “rival of mars” is a red supergiant star with a visual magnitude of +0.96, making it the 15th brightest star we can observe. it lies 550 light years away.

SAGITTARIUS: set along the milky way’s galactic center, sagittarius is rich with nebulae and star clusters. the lagoon nebula, the trifid nebula and ngc 6559 are often referred to as the sagittarius triplet. 

CAPRICORNUS: hcg 87 is a group of galaxies approximately 400 million light years away. it contains an elliptical galaxy and two spiral galaxies. 

AQUARIUS: gliese 876 is a red dwarf star 15 light years away with 4 known extrasolar planets to orbit. it’s the third nearest star to our solar system with known orbiting planets.

PISCES: 3c 31 is an active galaxy 237 million light years away. it contains jets that stream several millions of light years in both directions caused by a supermassive blackhole at its center. 

Lagoon and Trifid Nebulae w/ a 300mm Lens.


40 Minutes Total Exposure(29 x 90s @ ISO 800)

Here is one last look at this well-photographed area in Sagittarius for Summer 2017. (Probably)  This time around, the data was collected entirely using a Canon Xsi DSLR and an EF 300mm F/4L lens on the iOptron SkyGuider Pro.


Such a simple and portable setup.

  • Canon Rebel Xsi/450D (full spectrum mod)
  • IDAS LPS clip-filter
  • Canon EF 300 mm F/4L (Non IS) @ F/5.6
  • iOptron SkyGuider Pro Mount
  • Remote Shutter Release Cable

Processing in DeepSkyStacker and Photoshop.