Astronomy Picture of the Day

The Lagoon Nebula in Gas, Dust, and Stars

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#102398 by @ 17.07.2007 00:00 - nach oben -
The Lagoon Nebula in Gas, Dust, and Stars

Explanation: Stars are battling gas and dust in the Lagoon Nebula but the photographers are winning. Also known as M8, this photogenic nebula is visible even without binoculars towards the constellation of Sagittarius. The energetic processes of star formation create not only the colors but the chaos. The red-glowing gas results from high-energy starlight striking interstellar hydrogen gas. The dark dust filaments that lace M8 were created in the atmospheres of cool giant stars and in the debris from supernovae explosions. The light from M8 we see today left about 5,000 years ago. Light takes about 50 years to cross this section of M8. Note: The main APOD web site experienced serious problems this weekend, but has now been restored. Sorry, and thanks for your patience and concerned emails! - eds.

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