M20- The Trifid Nebula

Despite the overcast conditions in Sydney tonight and over the next few nights, Universe Watch will still go ahead and target a new object each night. You can always look at these objects at a later date if the clouds ever disappear.


M20 Trifid Nebula

M20 The Trifid Nebula (Click To Enlarge)

Today we look at the Trifid Nebula and discuss why the nebula is made of 3 parts and why it is both red and blue in color. So check out Universe Watch to the right as well as to see how to find this nebula over Sydney.


As you can see in the picture on the left, this nebula has two distinct colors to it…..red and blue. But will you see it in your telescope or will you see a black and white picture of it instead.

If you use a telescope with at least 8 inches of apeture, you should be able to see colors in the nebula…. however whether or not you see colors in the nebula is not determined by the size of your telescope alone. You also need to look at the conditions on the night you are observing the nebula as well as the color perception of the observer.

For example, some observers expect to see the red part of the nebula and see green instead. The trick is to try and not use too much magnification as your eyes will need the maximum input of light.

If you want to see the dark lanes splitting the Trifid Nebula you probably need a scope with at minimum 6 inches of aperture….and great sky conditions.

~ by sydneystargazers on October 25, 2009.

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