A colourful composite of three bright nebulae in the constellation of Sagittarius – recorded last last year from Teide National Park in Tenerife. To wit:
18th century cosmic tourist Charles Messier cataloged two of them; M8, the large nebula just left of centre, and colourful M20 on the top left. The third emission region includes NGC 6559 and can be found to the right of M8. All three are stellar nurseries about five thousand light-years or so distant. Over a hundred light-years across, the expansive M8 is also known as the Lagoon Nebula. M20’s popular moniker is the Trifid. Glowing hydrogen gas creates the dominant red colour of the emission nebulae. In striking contrast, blue hues in the Trifid are due to dust reflected starlight. Recently formed bright blue stars are visible nearby.
(Image: Emilio Rivero Padilla)