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M8: the Lagoon Nebula

This beautiful cosmic cloud is a popular stop on telescopic tours of the constellation Sagittarius. Eighteenth century cosmic tourist Charles Messier cataloged the bright nebula as M8, while modern day astronomers recognize the Lagoon Nebula as an active stellar nursery about 5,000 light-years distant, in the direction of the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. The view is a color composite of narrow and broad band images recorded under dark skies in northwestern Arizona by Jim Misti with his 800 mm telescope. At the Lagoon's estimated distance, the picture spans about 30 light-years.

The full-resolution version of this image is about 10 Megapixels. The color composite has been completed on May 5, 2006.
The full-resolution image
can generally be obtained. Typical applications are reproduction in books, magazines and periodicals, use for public exhibitions in planetariums, museums, talks, etc. If interested, please read my policy or e-mail me with your request.

Credit & Copyright: Image Processing: Davide De Martin. Data acquisition: Jim Misti (

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All images presented in this website are copyrighted Davide De Martin (2005-2014) otherwise noted. Reproduction or distribution of these images is not permitted without written consent. See also my policy of the use of images for further details or email me. Comments are welcome.
The astronomical images presented in this site were created with the help of the ESA/ESO/NASA FITS Liberator.