M8 - Lagoon Nebula

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Object Type: Emission Nebula, Open Cluster
Constellation: Sagittarius
Magnitude: 5.8
Size: 90' x 40'

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.

Instrument: ST-10XME/Vixen 102-ED
F-ratio: f/6.5
Exposures: RRGB: R 8 x 10 minutes, binned 1x1: G 8 x 3 minutes, binned 2x2: B 8 x 3 minutes, binned 2x2
Date:  July 16 and 17, 2004
Location:  Mount Laguna, California, USA
Technical Notes: Red-filtered luminance was used. Individual exposures were sigma combined and the RGB image assembled in Registar 1.0. The luminance image was adjusted with Levels and Curves and Unsharp Mask was applied at 100% with a radius of 2 pixels and a threshold of 0. The RGB was adjusted with Levels and Curves and color balance adjusted with the Selective Color tool.

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