Lagoon Nebula in Sagittarius Constellation Mousepad
Galaxies, Stars and Nebulae series Located in the constellation of Sagittarius (The Archer), this giant cloud of glowing interstellar gas (Messier 8) is a stellar nursery that is also known as the Lagoon Nebula. The massive stars hiding within the heart of the nebula give off enormous amounts of ultraviolet radiation, ionising the gas and causing it to shine colourfully, as well as sculpting the surrounding nebula into strange shapes. The result is an object around four to five thousand light-years away which, on a clear night, is faintly visible to the bare eye. Since it was first recorded back in the 1747 this object has been photographed and analysed at many different wavelengths. This optical image depicts a small and beautiful region in the centre of the nebula.