messier 8
messier 8 Back to Index Page Previous Image Next Image
M 8, also known as the Lagoon Nebula, is a truly remarkable HII region located towards the heart of the Milky Way in the constellation of Sagittarius. Tremendous amounts of radiation from young hot stars embedded deply within the nebula penetrate the surrounding interstellar material to provide us with this dramatic view. On occassion, fierce stellar winds interact with large "clumps" of colder much denser material, resulting in a "snowplow" effect, thus creating the many dark globules and bright rims that can be seen throughout this image. Of particular interest is the tiny yet brilliant "hourglass" feature seen near the core of the ruddy nebula. To the immediate right of this hourglass is the star Herschel 36, which is thought to be less than 10,000 years old. Several of the dark "Bok" globules are actually designated as Barnard numbers 88, 89, and 296. Also of note is the bluish color of the peculiar reflection nebula known as IC 4678 located to the upper left in this image. An image of this area having a much wider field of view is available by clicking here. Image taken with homemade 8-inch f/5.4 astrograph and SBIG STL-11000XM. LRGB composed of 40 minutes each R,G,B and synthetic L channel. Click on the image above for high resolution version.