The Lagoon Nebula (M8, NGC 6523 or Sharpless 25) is an emission nebula in the constellation Sagittarius, one of the few nebulae in the northern skies faintly visible by the naked eye (the other ones being, for example, the Great Orion Nebula and the Eagle Nebula). It is estimated to be some 5,200 light years away from Earth and is some 140 light year across. It was first discovered in 1654, by an Italian astronomer Giovanni Battista Hodierna.
M8 is producing a considerable number of new stars, grouped is clusters within the nebula. Within the brightest part in the center, a remarkable feature can be seen, a stellar nursery known as the Hourglass Nebula, due to its shape when observed in the visible spectrum (not to be confused with the Engraved Hourglass Nebula).
Data and processing: Goran Petrov
License: Creative Commons BY NC (free for non-commercial use, with attribution).
Click on the image to view in full size.
Location: s. German, Rankovce, Macedonia
Total integration time: 4 hours
Processed in PixInsight.
This photograph was made with the use of narrowband filters.
Narrowband Information was mapped to RGB (with a modified Hubble Palette).
Luminance information was synthetized from narrowband.