The Lagoon and Trifid Nebulae from Alentejo Sky


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At the left side of the image we can see the The Lagoon Nebula (catalogued as Messier 8 or M8, and as NGC 6523) is a giant interstellar cloud in the constellation of Sagittarius. It is classified as an emission nebula and as an H II region. The Lagoon Nebula is estimated to be between 4,000-6,000 light years from the Earth. At the right corner of the image we can find the M20 or NGC 6514, well known as The Trifid Nebula, also located in Sagittarius, lieing at a distance of approximately 5000 light years from earth. This object is an unusual combination of an open cluster of stars; an emission nebula (the lower, red/violet portion), a reflection nebula (the upper, blue portion) and a dark nebula (the apparent ‘gaps’ within the emission nebula that cause the trifid appearance; these are also designated Barnard 85). This deep sky picture was captured in Alentejo, Portugal, where stands the Dark Sky Alqueva Reserve, the first “Starlight Tourism Destination” in the world.

Captured in 05/08/2014 at 1:20 AM – Canon 60Da; ISO 1600, Exp. 10x 151 seconds at f/7 with a focal 570mm + mount Vixen GP2 + Astro Professional ED 80. Sum of 10 pictures combined in Maxim DL 5. Total time integration: 25 minutes

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