Trifid Nebula and Lagoon Nebula Region: This field cotains a plethora of cataloged objects: M8, the Lagoon Nebula (the large emission nebula/starforming region dominating the center of the field); M20 (emission/reflection nebula--the red/blue object toward the top/center of the field); M21 (open star cluster); NGC6559 (emmision/reflection nebula); IC1274 (emission/reflection nebula); IC1275 (emission nebula and may contain some reflection nebula); IC4685 (emission/reflection nebula); IC4684 (reflection nebula); IC4678 (reflection nebula); NGC6544 (globular star cluster); NGC6530 (open star cluster associated with M8); NGC6546 (large open star cluster); Boochum 14 (small open star cluster with nebulosity); PK6-2.1 (a tiny planetary nebula), and a number of dark nebulae (B88, B89, B91, B296 and B303). For ease in locating these objects, I have a version of this field with all the objects labeled here (a smaller version can be seen by clicking on the image above). The Trifid Nebula is so called because it appears to have three lobes in the reddish part. This is a star-forming region, which includes an emission nebula (the reddish part), reflection nebula (blue part) and dark nebulae (the dark parts that appear to divide the emission nebula); it provides a vivid illustration that hydrogen alpha emissions are within the red part of the spectrum, since you can see the blue part of the nebula disappear in the Ha version when clicking between the two versions. The Trifid Nebula is approximately 5,200 light years from us, about 25 light years across, and glows brightly at an apparent magnitude of 6.3 (meaning possibly visible to the naked eye in the very darkest skies). The Lagoon Nebula also is bright (magnitude 6.0); it is about 5,000 light years from us, and over 100 light years across.
Click here for a high-resolution photo of Trifid Nebula
Copyright 2012, 2013 Mark de Regt