This beautiful cosmic cloud is a popular stop on telescopic tours of
Eighteenth century cosmic tourist
Messier cataloged the bright
nebula as M8, while
modern day astronomers recognize the Lagoon Nebula as an active
stellar nursery about 5,000 light-years distant, in the direction
of the center of our Milky Way Galaxy.
Striking details can be traced through this
processed to reveal the Lagoon's range of
filaments of glowing hydrogen gas
and dark dust clouds along with the brighter, turbulent
hourglass region at the upper right.
The view is a color composite of narrow and broad band
images recorded under dark skies in
At the Lagoon's estimated distance, the picture
about 30 light-years.