M8 (Lagoon Nebula)
Acquired by Jim Misti and
Processed by Steve Cannistra
Size: 0.57 degrees
Distance: 6500 light years
RA: 18h 04m 09s
Dec: 24 degrees 22' 00"
The Lagoon was first discovered because of the conspicuous cluster of
newly formed stars just to the left of center (NGC 6530). Like
many emission nebulae, the Lagoon is a stellar nursery comprised mostly
of hydrogen gas that emits light in the hydrogen alpha wavelength
(656.3 nm), after excitation by radiation from nearby, young
stars. The very dark regions represent gas that is comprised
dust that has not been excited to emit red light, and is too dense to
reflect blue light. These dark regions represent protostellar
material that will eventually condense to form new stars through
raw data for this image were acquired by Jim Misti,
who graciously provided this to astrophotographers for subsequent
processing. I used standard techniques such as DDP, curves, and a
bit of LR deconvolution.
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may not be reproduced without author permission.
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