The Lagoon Nebula, M8,
aka NGC 6523, is a fine
example of an emission
nebula within Sagittarius.
About 5000 lightyears
distant, and 140 lightyears
across, it is a region of
active star formation, with
that activity concentrating
centrally in an area known
as the "hourglass" nebula
(can you see it?) An open
cluster of stars, NGC    
6530, seems to be part of
the Lagoon, but probably
sits just in front of it. Alas,
the Lagoon is practically
invisible to most denizens
of the northern USA, given
its very low position in the
southern sky. The data for
this image was acquired in
central Chile, where M8
rises much higher.
Here is
an older and wider field
version of M8 from
Pennsylvania.
Here is a
really wide vista of M8 and
surrounding objects.
16" RCOS @ f/11.3
Apogee U9 imager
SBIG 402 guider
Astrodon Series I LRGB

(R+Ha)(G+Olll)(B+Olll)

Ha= 5 hours, 1x1
Olll= 6 hours, 1x1

R=
  3 hours, 1x1
G=  
 3 hours, 1x1
B=  
 3 hours, 1x1

Data acquired at
CTIO

Processed with CCD
Inspector,
Maxim,
PixInsight, Neat Image,
and Adobe Photoshop.
      M8 -- The Lagoon Nebula
      Click on image to enlarge