NATIONAL OPTICAL ASTRONOMY OBSERVATORIES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NATIONAL OPTICAL ASTRONOMY OBSERVATORIES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Lagoon Nebula. Coloured optical image of the Lagoon Nebula (M8, NGC 6523), a large region of star formation. This cloud of gas and dust is around 3500 light years away. It is visible from Earth in the constellation Sagittarius. It glows due to the ionisation of hydrogen gas by radiation from hot young stars within it. Image taken by the 4-metre Mayall telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory, USA.
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