M8: The Lagoon Nebula

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#84541 by @ 11.02.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
M8: The Lagoon Nebula


Explanation:

This beautiful cosmic cloud is a popular stop on telescopic tours of
the constellation
Sagittarius.

Eighteenth century cosmic tourist
Charles
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
remarkable picture,
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
northwestern
Arizona
.

At the Lagoon's estimated distance, the picture
spans
about 30 light-years.




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