From Manu Garcia at IAC: “Composite image of Messier 20 and 21”

Manu Garcia, a friend from IAC.

The universe around us.
Astronomy, everything you wanted to know about our local universe and never dared to ask.


The Beautiful Nebula, also known as Messier 20, is about 5.000 Light-years away, a colorful study in cosmic contrasts. Share this field of almost 1 degree wide with the set of open stars messier 21 (top to the left). Trisected by the dust lanes the nebula has a size of 40 Light-years through and barely 300.000 years. That makes it one of the youngest star formation regions in our sky, with newly born and embryonic stars embedded in their native dust and gas clouds. Estimates of distance to open star group Messier 21 are similar to but although they share this magnificent telescopic scenario there is no apparent connection between the two. The Stars of Messier 21 are much older, about 8 million years old. Messier 20 and Messier 21 are easy to find even with a small telescope in the rich constellation Sagittarius. In fact, this well-composed scene is a compound of two different telescopes. Using narrow band data, mix a high resolution image of Messier 20 with a wider field image extending to Messier 21.

Image Credit and copyright: Martin Pugh

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