M8, The Lagoon Nebula, is a giant interstellar cloud in the constellation Sagittarius.
It is classified as an emission nebula. The Lagoon Nebula was discovered by Guillaume Le Gentil in 1747. It’s actually one of two star-forming nebulae faintly visible to the naked eye from mid-northern latitudes. The other being M42 The Orion Nebula in the Constellation of Orion. Seen with binoculars, M8 appears as a cloud-like patch with a distinct core.
M8 the Lagoon Nebula is best seen during the Summer months looking south. The teapot shape formed by the brighter stars of Sagittarius is one of the more easily recognized shapes in the night sky. The M8 designation is short for Messier 8, as noted in the Messier catalog of deep sky objects.
This image of M8 The Lagoon Nebula was taken in July of 2010 from Conestoga Lake Conservation Area located in Ontario, Canada.
This photo was also featured in Skynews (Canada) magazine in the Fall of 2010 and was also used in Astronomy magazine within an ad promoting their online reader image gallery.
- Equipment: Celestron CPC800 SCT (EQ wedge mounted), 0.63x reducer, Canon (modified) 350XT DSLR. 1260mm FL.
- Software: Nebulosity 3 for acquisition, calibration and alignment. PHD for auto guiding.
- Exposure: Total of 2 hours and 5 minutes. 5min subs.
- Processed in Photoshop.
My story began more than 40 years ago looking up at the Moon with a small collapsible telescope my Father had. Encouraged by my parents, who bought me my very own telescope, a 4.5″ reflector, I began to explore the night sky from my family home backyard. Today I do astrophotography from my home in Kitchener, Ontario and also with remote telescopes located in New Mexico and Australia. Some of my images have won awards and have been featured online and in magazines.