« back to overview Nebulae Load higher resolution (1800 x 1200 Pixel)  (3600 x 2000 Pixel) Object description
Messier 8 - the Lagoon Nebula

Object description:

The Lagoon Nebula M 8 is located in the constellation of Sagittarius, about 1.5 degrees south of the Trifid Nebula. The distance to M 8 is about 4000 lightyears and the nebula covers an area as large as the Moon in the sky. In the left half of the image you can see the open cluster NGC 6530, whose stars were formed from the nebula about 2.3 million years ago. The brightest area of the nebula is also known as the Hourglass nebula and is stimulated to glow by an active star formation region around the star Herschel 36.

The seeing at imaging time was about 3.0'' (FWHM). A great image of the Hourglass nebula was taken with the Hubble telescope and can be found here. For the size comparison with the Moon please move your mouse over the image.
« Click here or the thumbnail image for a comparison with the size of the Moon
References: Arias et al. (2006): The infrared Hourglass cluster in M8, Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 366, 739, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2005.09829.x
Prisinzano et al. (2005): The star formation region NGC 6530: Distance, ages and initial mass function, Astron. Astrophys., 430, 941, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20040432

Sun Moon Solar System DeepSky Widefield Miscellaneous Spec. Projects