Lagoon Nebula, 4000 light years distant.

A giant interstellar cloud three times the size of the moon.
Within this star-forming region is a tornado-like structure caused by an O-type star heating and ionizing gasses within, emitting different colours.

11hrs exposure, using three narrowband filters (Ha, O3 & S2) – and Hubble Telescope processing technique.

1hr each RG & B 60 secs

Processed in Nebulosity & Photoshop CC 2016

Gold Award (with Distinction) 2016 AIPP Victorian Professional Photography Awards

Silver Award (with Distinction) 2016 AIPP Australian Professional Photography Awards


M8 Lagoon Nebula Narrowband image
M8 Lagoon Nebula

Capture Details

TelescopeWilliam Optics FLT 110
CameraQSI 683 WSG8
MountSkywatcher EQ6 Pro
FiltersAstrodon 5nm Ha, O3, S2 & RGB
Guiding CameraStarlight Xpress Lodestar X2
Integration time (Exposure)11 hrs
LocationBurwood, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
DateMay, 2016

About this Nebula

The majestic Lagoon Nebula is filled with hot gas and the home for many young stars. Spanning 100 light years across while lying only about 5000 light years distant, the Lagoon Nebula is so big and bright that it can be seen without a telescope toward the constellation of the Archer (Sagittarius). Many bright stars are visible from NGC 6530, an open cluster that formed in the nebula only several million years ago. The greater nebula, also known as M8 and NGC 6523, is named “Lagoon” for the band of dust seen to the left of the open cluster’s center. This image was taken in three colors with details are brought out by light emitted by Hydrogen. Star formation continues in the Lagoon Nebula as witnessed by the many dark dust-laden globules that exist there. (APOD)

“Be calm…calm as a calm lagoon, then you will look beautiful as a beautiful calm lagoon crowned by the Moon and sheltered by the brilliance of the stars reclaiming your royalty of regal life…”

- Oksana Rus