Monday, July 16, 2007

The Lagoon Nebula

The Lagoon Nebula. Credit & Copyright: Antonio Fernandez

One of the most beautiful photographs of the night sky - Stars battling gas and dust in the Lagoon Nebula.

This photogenic nebula also known as M8 is visible even without binoculars towards the constellation of Sagittarius. The energetic processes of star formation create not only the colors but the chaos.

The red-glowing gas results from high-energy starlight striking interstellar hydrogen gas. The dark dust filaments that lace M8 were created in the atmospheres of cool giant stars and in the debris from supernovae explosions.

The light from M8 we see today left about 5,000 years ago. Light takes about 50 years to cross this section of M8.

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