D. Heilman Astrophotography

Saturn in Sagittarius

This wide field view of the Milky Way spans parts of the constellations Sagittarius and Scutum near the galactic core, where the most dense concentration of stars exists.  Dust bands infiltrate the star field and many notable targets are visible.  Patches of red that occupy the region across the center of the image are nebulae rich in hot hydrogen gas, which emits deep red light when excited my the radiation of newborn stars.  There are five such prominent nebulae in the image; on the left are SH2-54, the Eagle Nebula, and the Omega Nebula.  Just right of center are the Lagoon Nebula (the largest and most prominent of the grouping) and just above and to the left of this, the Trifid Nebula, a small but bright nebula with red and blue halves.  Several star clusters are also visible in the image; one globular cluster, M22 (center near bottom), and two open clusters, M25 (left of center 3/4 to bottom) and M23 (center near top).  The brightest object in the filed near center is Saturn, which outshines the region and travels through Sagittarius in Auguest of 2018.