M20 and M21
Trifid Nebula in Sagittarius

M20_190898_96x_400p.jpg (26064 bytes)

10.1'' reflector  43 x
The field is full of Milky Way background stars. Very light nebulousity can be seen around the 4 bright stars towards the top, although it appears to be due to high-altitude haze. The upper-most bright "star" is the center of the Trifid (M20). M21 is the bright open cluster at the bottom of the field.

A good example of how hazy conditions can be misleading!

10.1'' reflector  96 x
A higher-power view of the Trifid through the Speers-Waler eyepiece, provides much better contrast. It appears fairly dim despite good observing conditions, probably a consequence of it being only 20 degrees above the south horizon. Some of the Trifid structure is visible, a dark lane running northward, forming a kind of "T" with another dimmer lane running east-west. The double-star in the center is the upper-most bright star in the previous sketch.