Lagoon & Trifid Nebulae


Ravi Kailas

Leh, J & K, India

13 lights (with in camera dark subtraction), of 30s each, at ISO 1600, f2.8 @ 300mm.

Imaged with Canon 6D and Canon 300mm f2.8ii; tracked with Astrotrac TT320X-AG (unguided); PP using Nebulosity 4.0 and Lightroom CC

As a relative beginner to astronomy/astrophotography, it was with a sense of awe that I looked up into one of the darkest skies I had seen as yet, from the high altitude town of Leh (3500m) in the trans-Himalayan region of Ladakh. The Milky Way was visible to the naked eye as I pointed my setup to the rich starfields in the constellation of Sagittarius, to capture the Lagoon & Trifid Nebulae (Messier 8 & 20) – popular astrophotography subjects, albeit my first attempt of this pair!

The altitude, cold desert conditions and low population density of this region, possibly makes for among the largest swathes of relatively accessible dark skies within India.