Messier 20 (M20), also known as the Trifid Nebula, is a famous star-forming region located in the constellation Sagittarius. The name Trifid refers to its three-lobed appearance. Messier 20 consists of several different objects: an emission nebula, a reflection nebula, a dark nebula and an open star cluster. Messier 20 is a popular target for amateur astronomers as it is quite bright, even when seen through a small telescope. It has an apparent magnitude of 6.3 and lies at an approximate distance of 5,200 light years from Earth. M20 has a linear diameter of over 40 light years and is only 300,000 years old. M20 is a challenging target from my location as it is low in the sky with a maximum altitude of 22°.
Telescope: 16″ f3.75 Dream Scope
Camera: FLI ML16803
Mount: ASA DDM85
Exposure: 3.5 hours (25x300s L + 3x6x300s RGB)
Acquisition: May – June 2019 – Processing: May 2021
Location: Southern Alps, France