M20 Trifid Nebula and M21 Open Cluster April 6, 2012

M20 is a cloud of ionized hydrogen gas some 25 light-years in diameter. Dark lanes visible in 3-4 inch telescopes may be seen extending from its center towards the west, northeast, and southeast, effectively dividing the nebula into 3 distinct patches, hence the name ‘Trifid’ which means ‘split into three,’ was derived. M21, an open cluster, is also visible in this photo (upper left of the nebula). Sky-Watcher 100 ED 4 in f/9 refractor, Kenko NES mount, Canon 450D DSLR, 240 sec exp, IS0 1600. April 6, 2012, Camarines Norte, Philippines. Photo Credit: Anthony Urbano