The Trifid Nebula

The Trifid Nebula, M20 in the Messier Catalogue or NGC 6514, is a combination of an open star cluster and three different types of nebula in the constellation of Sagittarius.

The pink area shown in the image below is a Hydrogen II region emission nebula, the blue area is a reflection nebula. The dark nebula that appears to divide the emission nebula into three parts gives M20 its name the Trifid Nebula.

The Trifid Nebula
The Trifid Nebula captured with the Wide-Field Imager camera attached to the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in northern Chile. Image Credit: ESO, from: (Click to enlarge)
Star map showing location of the Lagoon Nebula
Locating the Trifid Nebula from the Sagittarius ‘teapot’ asterism

The equatorial coordinates of the Trifid Nebula are:
Right Ascension: 18h 02m 23s, Declination: −23° 01′ 48″

To find the Trifid Nebula’s current position in the sky from your location, visit our Night Sky Simulator.

Astronomy, Cosmology, Space and Astrophysics