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The Deep Lagoon

The Deep Lagoon

Copyright: Josep Drudis

Ridges of glowing interstellar gas and dark dust clouds inhabit the turbulent, cosmic depths of the Lagoon Nebula. Also known as M8, The bright star forming region is about 5,000 light-years distant. It makes for a popular stop on telescopic tours of the constellation Sagittarius toward the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. Dominated by the telltale red emission of ionized hydrogen atoms recombining with stripped electrons, this deep telescopic view of the Lagoon’s central reaches is about 40 light-years across. The bright hourglass shape near the center of the frame is gas ionized and sculpted by energetic radiation and extreme stellar winds from a massive young star.

Courtesy of NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day

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