Amateur astronomy. Two star gazers in the country- side look up at the Milky Way in the constellation of Sagittarius. At upper right is the red Lagoon Nebula (M8 or NGC6523), a cloud of dust and gas which is condensing to form new stars. The Milky Way is our galaxy, a luminous band in the night sky which is caused by the light of stars which are too numerous to be seen individually. The stars are numerous because a viewer looking in their direction is observing along the plane of our galaxy's disk. The full beauty of the night sky has to be observed from the countryside because in cities it is usually drowned out by light pollution.
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