Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2002 May 20
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East of the Lagoon Nebula
Credit & Copyright: Jean-Charles Cuillandre (CFHT), Hawaiian Starlight, CFHT

Explanation: To the east of the Lagoon Nebula is a star field rich in diversity. On the lower left are clouds rich in dark dust that hide background stars and young star systems still forming. Dark clouds include LDN 227 on the left and IC 1275 on the right, with a bright star near its tip. On the upper right are clouds rich in hot glowing gas, including part of the emission nebula NGC 6559. On the right, between the two regions, is a nebula reflecting light from a group of massive blue stars. The NGC 6559 complex pictured above spans about 3 light years and likely has a common history with the Lagoon Nebula. The complex lies about 5000 light-years away toward the constellation of Sagittarius.

Tomorrow's picture: Galactic Center Radio Arc

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
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