Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors

Astrophotography Brian A. Morganti


NGC 6514 / M20 Trifid Nebula

NGC 6523 / M8 Lagoon Nebula




The Trifid Nebula was named by John Herschel over 200 years ago to describe its tri-lobed appearance.  A bright young triple star at the center of the Trifid excites and illuminates the surrounding hydrogen clouds.  The three components of the triple star are too close to each other to be seen in this image.  To one side of the emission nebula, a faint blue reflection nebula can be seen.  This wide field view shows both the Trifid and the large Lagoon Nebula.  Both nebulae are parts of the same cloud of gas harboring star formation about 5,200 light years away.  West is down in this image.

Click here for full size view of Trifid Nebula!

Click here for full size view of Lagoon Nebula!


  • Date & Location:  July 12 & July 17, 2010  - Bernville, PA

  • Weather:  Calm 61F & 71F.

  • Sky Conditions:  Clear with above average transparency on the 12th, avg on the 17th.

  • Optics:  TeleVue NP101is Refractor with 0.8x TeleVue Reducer = 432mm @ f4.3

  • Filter:  Astronomic  EOS clip-in CLS-CCD (Light Pollution Suppression)

  • Mount:  Losmandy G-11 equatorial with Gemini V4

  • Guiding:  Orion Solitaire w/TeleVue TV60is

  • Camera:  Canon T1i (500D) Hap Griffin Modified - Baader UV/IR

  • Exposure:  36 min (2 x 3min @ iso 1600, 2 x 7min, 1 x 6min, & 2 x 5min @ iso800).

  • Calibration Frames:  In Camera Dark Noise Reduction

  • Processing:  Photoshop Images Plus 3.82b, CS4, NIK.

  • Comments:   A favorite target for many, one I am sure to shoot again and again.  I'm pleased with the image but tracking could have definitely been better.


Astrophotography  -  Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors