M8 - Lagoon Nebula in Sagittarius

Copyright 2003 Thom Iwancio

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:    September 19, 2003     Iwancio-Hodge Observatory    Bethune, SC
Instrument:    Meade 8" SCT OTA
Focal Ratio:   f6
Film:    Hypered Tech Pan
Guiding:    SBIG ST-5C via Lumicon Off-Axis Guider @ f10
Conditions:    Visually clear, seeing poor (object low in south), 45% RH
Weather:    70 F, Still wind
Exposure: 1 x 45 minutes 
Filters:    None
Processing: Finished in Photoshop 6