During warm summer nights, low in the southern sky, the constellation Sagittarius hovers over the trees near the horizon. From a dark
sky site, this constellation's teapot shape is complemented by a hazy glow of "steam" near its spout, which corresponds to the massive
Lagoon Nebula. Binoculars more clearly define this nebulous cloud and the associated star cluster.
Both the Trifid and Lagoon Nebulas are part of the same cloud of gas harboring star formation, 5200 light-years away. More details
about the Trifid Nebula are available on its own web page. This closeup view of the Lagoon Nebula obtained through a larger telescope
shows the central dark lane of obscuring dust, appearing like a lagoon when examined visually through a telescope. Other more focal
dark areas within the Lagoon Nebula are collapsing protostellar clouds called Bok Globules. The brightest region in the nebula, called
the hourglass nebula, is illuminated by 2 supergiant stars. The rest of the nebula is energized by the young open cluster NGC 6530
emerging in the other side of the dark "lagoon".
This image combined exposures of 27 minutes red, 24 minutes green, and 33 minutes blue. An ST10XME camera was used through a
TEC140 refractor, at my dark sky observatory.
Music: Summer Breeze