M8 - The Lagoon Nebula

M8 - The Lagoon Nebula

M8 - The Lagoon Nebula is located in the constellation Sagittarius.  It's an area of recent or continuing star formation located approximately 4500 light years away.  Several interesting features can be seen in this image. The star cluster to the left of center in the image is a young cluster of bluish stars formed from the nebula.     Also visible throughout the nebula are dark patches known as 'globules' or dark nebulae, which are collapsing molecular clouds.

In the brightest part of the nebula (right of center), is the "Hourglass Nebula," an area of star formation.

More information about this nebula can be found at the Messier Index - M8

The above color image is a composite obtained on 1 and 2 August 2008 through a William Optics FLT110 4.3" f/7 refractor with an SXV-H9 monochrome CCD camera.     40 minutes of luminance-filtered images were combined with 20 minutes of red-filtered images to create the luminance data.     20 minutes each of red, green, and blue-filtered images were added to create the (LR)RGB color composite.

The below film image is a 30-minute exposure at the prime focus of a 16" f/4.5 Newtonian using hypered Fuji 800 film taken on 29 July 1997.

M8 - The Lagoon Nebula

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