M 8, the “Lagoon Nebula” – Sgr
The Lagoon Nebula, in Sagittarius, is one of the finest deep sky objects out there. It is an active star forming region and many suns are already born from this giant gas cloud. It was originally noted by Giovanni Battista Hodierna before 1654, later reported by other observers and cataloged in 1764 by Charles Messier.
It shows remarkable dark areas, called ‘globules’: they are collapsing protostellar clouds with diameters of about 10.000 Astronomical Unit (1 AU = 149 597 871 kilometers). The cloud is located at about 5.500 light years from our planet.
The image above covers just a portion of the nebula and in its bottom part also shows the open cluster NGC 6530, a family of very young stars associated with M 8. It comes from the average of 11, 120-seconds exposures remotely taken with the PlaneWave 17″ robotic unit part of the Virtual Telescope.
Support The Virtual Telescope Project!
If everyone reading this right now would donate something, our fundraiser would be done in a few days. Please, donate and receive stunning, LIMITED EDITION images with the Tiangong 1 and International Space Station above Rome and one of a potentially hazardous asteroid taken by the Virtual Telescope, specifically made for supporters like you!
donate now (you can adjust the amount later)
You can also order our 2019 Calendar, featuring our unique images of the stars above the legendary monuments of Rome!