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.

2023 September 28
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download the highest resolution version available.

The Deep Lagoon
Image Credit & Copyright: Josep Drudis, Christian Sasse

Explanation: Ridges of glowing interstellar gas and dark dust clouds inhabit the turbulent, cosmic depths of the Lagoon Nebula. Also known as M8, The bright star forming region is about 5,000 light-years distant. It makes for a popular stop on telescopic tours of the constellation Sagittarius toward the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. Dominated by the telltale red emission of ionized hydrogen atoms recombining with stripped electrons, this deep telescopic view of the Lagoon's central reaches is about 40 light-years across. The bright hourglass shape near the center of the frame is gas ionized and sculpted by energetic radiation and extreme stellar winds from a massive young star.

Tomorrow's picture: just back from Bennu

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