Alt. Designations: NGC 6523, Lagoon Nebula
Object Type: Cluster with Nebula
Constellation: Sagittarius
Distance: 5.8 kly
Right Ascension: 18h 03m 42.0s
Declination: -24° 22´ 48"
Visual Magnitude: 5.8
Apparent Dimension: 45.0´ x 30.0´
Best Month To View: Jun

Known more commonly as the Lagoon Nebula, M8 is a beautiful cloud of gas illuminated by a 5.9 magnitude star inside. The nebula is about 150 light-years in diameter and lies about 5,200 light-years from Earth. M8 is a stellar nursery where many new stars are being formed from the great clouds of gas. With a visual magnitude of 6, this nebula can be easily seen in the constellation of Sagittarius with the naked eye on a dark, clear night. A telescope will reveal some of the more complex patterns of bright and dark areas within the nebula.