M8 - Lagoon Nebula - Sagittarius

Object Data: Messier 8, NGC 6523, also known as the Lagoon Nebula, is a very bright nebulous region in western part of Sagittarius, about 1.3 degrees to the south of M20. It takes the name Lagoon Nebula from the darker semi-circle which surrounds the bright central region. It is a vast and complex area of ionized hydrogen gas which is fuelled by many hot young stars, most notably the 5.9 magnitude star 9 Sagittarii, fuelling the bright central portion of this photo, which is also a star forming region. M8 is one of the brightest nebulae in the night sky and is a wonderful sight in anything from binoculars upwards. The distance of M8 is not accurately known but it is believed to be about 5,200 light years. It was catalogued by Messier in May 1764.

Date: 10/06/2005
Location: Southern France
Conditions: Calm, no dew, transparency=9, seeing=8
Optics: Astro-Physics 155 EDF f/7 working at f/5.2 with AP reducer
Mount: AP 900 GTO on Portable Pier
Camera: SBIG ST-8E / CFW-8
Guiding: Integral ST-8E autoguider
Exposure: Full-Res RGB: 30:30:52 minutes x2

Processing: Image acquisition and initial processing was done using Maxim DL, subsequent processing in RegiStar and Photoshop.

Notes: Imaging M8 from southern France is fairly challenging since the object never reaches more than 21 degrees of elevation. Another problem arising from the low elevation is that broadband star images will suffer from Spectral Dispersion at Low Elevation. To avoid this full-res RGBs have to be taken which means longer exposure times.





All text and images Copyright © 1997-2016 by Philip Perkins. All rights reserved.