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Object Type: Emission
Nebula, Open Cluster
A beautiful object in any size telescope, the Lagoon Nebula takes its name from the dark band dividing the two brightest regions of nebulosity. At the heart of the nebula is the very bright region known as the "Hourglass," visible in this image as a tiny white hourglass-shaped region near the center of the nebula. The Lagoon Nebula is about 5,200 light-years from the solar system and is contains the open cluster NGC 6530, seen here to the left of the Hourglass. The nebula contains numerous dark regions known as Bok globules, which are regions of dust and gas collapsing into protostellar clouds.