Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

July 7, 1998

M8: The Lagoon Nebula
Credit & Copyright: D. Malin (AAO), AATB, ROE, UKS Telescope

Explanation: The bright Lagoon Nebula is home to a diverse array of astronomical objects. Particularly interesting sources include a bright open cluster of stars and several energetic star-forming regions. The general red glow is caused by luminous hydrogen gas, while the dark filaments are caused by absorption by dense lanes of dust. The Lagoon Nebula, also known as M8 and NGC 6523, lies about 5000 light-years away. The Lagoon Nebula can be located with binoculars in the constellation of Sagittarius spanning a region over three times the diameter of a full Moon.

明亮的礁湖星雲,是各式各樣天體的棲身之所。 其中特別有趣的天體,有明亮的星團和數個活躍的恆星形成區。 此星雲的泛紅輝光,源自氫氣所發出的輻射,而黝黑的絲狀物則是不透光的緻密塵埃帶。 礁湖星雲亦稱為M8和NGC 6523,距離我們約5000光年遠。 礁湖星雲的跨幅是滿月的3倍以上,用雙筒望遠鏡即可在人馬座裡見到它的身影。

Tomorrow's picture: Mysterious Pluto

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