Milwaukee Astronomical Society


M20 - NGC 6514 - The Trifid Nebula


Messier 20 (M20) is an Open Cluster as well as a combination of Emission, Reflection and Dark Nebula located in the Sagittarius region of the Milky Way. It also belongs to the constellation Sagittarius. M20 gets the name Trifid Nebula from the fact that the dark nebula divides its appearance into 3 separate lobes. In most images, the emission nebula area shows up red while the reflection nebula appears blue. Distance estimates around 5,000 light years are typical, however these estimates vary greatly from 2,200 to 9,000 light years. M20 is about 25 light years in diameter and was discovered by Charles Messier in 1764.

Location Data
Constellation: Sagittarius
Right ascension: 18h 2.3m
Declination: -23° 2′
Distance:  5,000 ly
Size:  25 ly

Observation Data
Apparent magnitude: 6.3
Apparent size: 28.0' arcmins

The images With Blue Borders were taken using equipment provided by the MAS Observatory
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