Equipment and other photo info:
Picture taken on July 18th, 2009.
SkyWatcher ED80 + WO 0.8x, Canon EOS 300D 18x240sec @ ISO800
Guiding with Maksutov 90/1250 + QHY5 guiding camera (PHD Guiding)
Mount: EQ6 Vis upgreded to EQ6 SynScan
Processing software: DeepSkyStacker, PixInsight 1.0, Photoshop CS2
The Lagoon Nebula is estimated to be 4,100 light-years from the Earth. In the sky of Earth, it spans 90′ by 40′, translates to an actual dimension of 110 by 50 light years. Like many nebulas, it appears pink in time-exposure color photos but is gray to the eye peering through binoculars or a telescope, human vision having poor color sensitivity at low light levels.
The nebula contains a number of Bok globules – dark, collapsing clouds of protostellar material – the most prominent of which have been catalogued by E. E. Barnard as B88, B89 and B296. It also includes a funnel-like or tornado-like structure caused by a hot O-type star that pours out ultraviolet light, heating and ionizing gases on the surface of the nebula.
The Trifid Nebula (catalogued as Messier 20 or M20 and as NGC 6514) is an H II region located in Sagittarius. Its name means ‘divided into three lobes’. The object is an unusual combination of an open cluster of stars, an emission nebula (the lower, red 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). Viewed through a small telescope, the Trifid Nebula is a bright and colorful object, and is thus a perennial favorite of amateur astronomers.
More information about this object at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trifid_Nebula