Around M8, M20 and M21


Konstantinos Christodoulopoulos

Parnonas Mountain, Greece

Technical Details
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L lens @ f/2.8
Skywatcher HEQ5 Synscan pro
Guiding Vixen ED81S, DMK21AU04, PHD guiding
Canon EOS 450D (piggy back)

Constellation Sagittarius
22 Jul, 2012
Parnonas Mountain, Greece
1×5 min ISO 800 (light frames), 3×5 min ISO 800 (dark frame)
Programs used
PHD guiding, ImagesPlus, Nebulosity, Adobe Photoshop

The 6th National Amateur Astronomers Gathering took place July 20–23 in Mount Parnon, Greece.
In one of the darkest observing sites in Europe at an altitude of 4,660 feet (1,420 meters), a record of 625 amateur astronomers had the chance to participate in what came to be the largest star party ever to take place in Greece.

About this image

The 2 degrees wide expanse of Milky Way encompassing M8, M20, and M21 is the most dramatic Messier field in the entire sky. At 23 x, these objects and several other clusters and nebulous patches (both bright and dark) fill the field. Such a tight gathering of nebulous splendor might be nothing more than a chance alignment. M8 and M20 are possibly part of the same complex; certainly their distances (5,200 and 5,000 light years, respectively) suggest they could be.