Messier 8 (Sagittarius)

Object image
Fig.1 - The most spectacular nebulous field of the whole summer sky (as seen from mid-northern latitudes): Messier 8 in the constellation Sagittarius, photographed with an 8-inch f/5 newtonian reflector on a ZWO AM5 mount.
Object name: Constellation: Coordinates: Apparent size: Visual brightness:
Messier 8
(= NGC 6523)
Sagittarius 18h04m / -24°23' 90' x 40' 4.6 mag

The emission and reflection nebula Messier 8 (NGC 6523, Lagoon Nebula) in the constellation Sagittarius. Messier 8 is approximately 5,200 light-years from Earth, measures about 110 x 50 light-years and was discovered by Italian astronomer Giovanni Battista Hodierna in 1654 and independently re-discovered by English astronomer John Flamsteed in 1680. The Lagoon Nebula is a large star-forming region and contains dark protostellar clouds, so-called globules. Within the nebula is the young open star cluster NGC 6530. Its stars were formed by material of the Lagoon Nebula and now ionize the surrounding gas (source: Wikipedia).

Forty 3-minute exposures (120 minutes total exposure) at gain 100 and -10°C, taken on May 9 / 10, 2024, were added for this shot with Astro Pixel Processor (APP) software and the final image processing was done in Photoshop. Darks, flats, bias and darkflats were used.

Equipment: Cooled ASI 2600MC Pro camera, TeleVue Paracorr Type II coma corrector, 8" f/5 "ONTC" newtonian telescope riding on a ZWO AM5 Strain Wave Mount, ZWO OAG-L off axis system, ASI 174MM Mini guide camera, ASIAIR Plus.

Messier 8 was also captured with a 16-inch dobsonian on an equatorial platform with a DSLR camera. The image can be seen here.

Search chart
Fig.2 - Search chart for Messier 8. Map © 2024 "The Mag-7 Star Atlas Project", Map is slightly modified. The map can be downloaded here.