Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day
Posted on 06/30/2008 2:28:12 PM PDT by sig226
Explanation: Clouds of glowing gas mingle with dust lanes in the Trifid Nebula, a star forming region toward the constellation of Sagittarius. In the center, the three prominent dust lanes that give the Trifid its name all come together. Mountains of opaque dust appear on the right, while other dark filaments of dust are visible threaded throughout the nebula. A single massive star visible near the center causes much of the Trifid's glow. The Trifid, also known as M20, is only about 300,000 years old, making it among the youngest emission nebulae known. The nebula lies about 9,000 light years away and the part pictured here spans about 10 light years. This image was created with the 0.8-meter IAC80 telescope on the Canary Islands of Spain.
Wow! My new background.
Can you see images like that with an affordable telescope or does it require some kind of massive instrument that is carved into the side of a mountain or something?
The Trifid, also known as M20, is only about 300,000 years old, making it among the youngest emission nebulae known.
"Youth is wasted on the young." -George Bernard Shaw
It almost looks like a human heart.
Yes you can. But it depends on the object and if a camera is used. Just as important as the telescope, is the camera, as the camera is capable of seeing light or image data that our eyes are just not capable of seeing. It's the camera, be it film or digital, that captures these unbelievable images.
Obviously not as good as the 0.8-meter IAC80 telescope, but this is Orion M-42 Nebula taken from our small backyard observatory using a 10" diameter telescope.
I always come to look at these and have saved many. This one looks like a misshapen mouth with 3 giant teeth, lol.
It’s kindof like a rorschach test!
Although you can see less detailed views of things like this, you won't get those pictures like that. Each pixel in the camera measures 13.5 microns, and the CCD element is cooled to -100C. Software enhances and stabilizes the image.
This page shows the relative image detail with different instruments. You can get a serviceable 105mm telescope with a mount for around $1,000.00. Stay away from the cheaper stuff.
The real fun is the pictures - a three minute exposure exposes details that were not bright enough to be seen by the human eye. You can drop the price of a car on this stuff. It is also addicting.