Discover the cosmos! Each day we feature a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
January 27, 1996
M8: An Open Cluster in the Lagoon
Credit: The Electronic Universe Project
Explanation: The large majestic Lagoon Nebula is home for many young stars and hot gas. The Lagoon Nebulae is so large and bright it can be seen without a telescope. Formed only several million years ago in the nebula is the open cluster known as NGC 6530, whose young stars show their high temperature by their blue glow. The nebula, also known as M8 and NGC 6523, is named "Lagoon" for the band of dust seen to the left of the open cluster's center. A bright knot of gas and dust in the nebula's center is known as the Hourglass Nebula. Star formation continues in the the Lagoon Nebula as witnessed by the many globules that exist there.
Authors & editors:
NASA Technical Rep.: Sherri Calvo. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC