M 20 (Trifid Nebula)
The Trifid Nebula (catalogued as Messier 20 or NGC 6514) is an H II region in the north-west of Sagittarius in a star-forming region in the Milky Way's Scutum-Centaurus Arm, which is about 4100±200 light-years distant. The object is an unusual combination of an open cluster of stars, an emission nebula (the relatively dense, reddish-pink portion), a reflection nebula (the mainly NNE blue portion), and a dark nebula (the apparent 'gaps' in the former that cause the trifurcated appearance, also designated Barnard 85). Viewed through a small telescope, the Trifid Nebula is a bright and peculiar object, and is thus a perennial favorite of amateur astronomers
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