The Glow of the Lagoon Nebula

Gas and dust condense, beginning the process of creating new stars in this image of Messier 8, also known as the Lagoon Nebula. Located four to five thousand light-years away, in the constellation of Sagittarius (the Archer), the nebula is a giant interstellar cloud, one hundred light-years across. It boasts many large, hot stars, whose ultraviolet radiation sculpts the gas and dust into unusual shapes. Two of these giant stars illuminate the brightest part of the nebula, known as the Hourglass Nebula, a spiralling, funnel-like shape near its centre. Messier 8 is one of the few star-forming nebulae visible to the unaided eye, and was discovered as long ago as 1747, although the full range of colours wasn’t visible until the advent of more powerful telescopes. The Lagoon Nebula derives its name from the wide lagoon-shaped dark lane located in the middle of the nebula that divides it into two glowing sections.

This image combines observations performed through three different filters (B, V, R) with the 1.5-metre Danish telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory in Chile.

Credit:

ESO/IDA/Danish 1.5 m/ R. Gendler, U.G. Jørgensen, K. Harpsøe

About the Image

Id:potw1016a
Type:Observation
Release date:19 April 2010, 09:55
Size:2027 x 2064 px

About the Object

Name:Lagoon Nebula, Messier 8
Type:• Milky Way : Nebula : Type : Star Formation
• X - Nebulae
Distance:5000 light years
Constellation:Sagittarius

Image Formats

Large JPEG
1.6 MB
Screensize JPEG
325.7 KB

Zoomable


Wallpapers

1024x768
330.1 KB
1280x1024
534.0 KB
1600x1200
789.8 KB
1920x1200
906.8 KB
2048x1536
1.3 MB

Coordinates

Position (RA):18 3 37.01
Position (Dec):-24° 23' 14.02"
Field of view:13.33 x 13.57 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 135.0° right of vertical
View in WorldWide Telescope:
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Colours & filters

BandTelescope
Optical
B
Danish 1.54-metre telescope
Optical
V
Danish 1.54-metre telescope
Optical
R
Danish 1.54-metre telescope

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