M8 - The Lagoon Nebula

Copyright 2002 John Hodge

The nebula gets its name from the fact that the main cloud is bi-sected by a dark region in its middle resembling a lagoon on an island.  The young open star cluster NGC 6530, here seen to the left of the "lagoon" was formed from the gas and dust comprising the nebula.  The Lagoon Nebula is approximately 5200 light years distant.   


Date/Location:    August 2002     Iwancio-Hodge Observatory    Bethune, SC
Instrument:    SBIG ST-7 through 12" LX-200 
Focal Ratio:   f 10
Guiding:    Auto via ST-7
Conditions:    Visually clear, but with moderate high level water vapor
Filters:    None