The Lagoon Nebula

The Lagoon Nebula.  Click for larger.  Credit: ESO

The Lagoon Nebula. Click for larger. Credit: ESO

A wonderful image of the Lagoon Nebula from the VLT Survey Telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile and operated by the ESO.

I enjoy the Lagoon, it’s low in my sky but I can see it (it can be seen with binoculars during the summer if you have a decent sky). Nothing like this though, but then I don’t have a 16,000 pixel-wide camera either.

Yes, 16,000 pixel-wide, to that end the best way to enjoy this image is to go to the large version at ESO (here is the direct link). The image is zoomable and is just amazing, if you have a few minutes to spare do check it out.

The Lagoon Nebula is also known as Messier 8, it is a giant cloud some 31 parsecs (100 light-years) across in the constellation Sagittarius about 1,500 parsecs (5,000 light-years away).

Read more at the ESO website.