From the 2Mass Image Gallery
The red emission in the optical image of Messier 8, The Lagoon Nebula. is from hydrogen, after recombination, in this famous H II region. Note the absence of the nebular hydrogen emission in the 2MASS image. The Hourglass Nebula is clearly visible, near the center of the optical nebulosity of the Lagoon, at a distance of about 1.5 kpc along the Sagittarius/Carina arm of the Galaxy. The Hourglass itself is mainly ionized by the O7V star Herschel 36; the more extended nebulosity is ionized by the O stars HD 165052 and 9 Sgr. Numerous compact infrared sources are along the line of sight to the core of the Hourglass. A lack of near-IR H2 emission indicates that molecular outflow activity is much less prominent than in many active star-forming regions. Image mosaic by E. Kopan (IPAC).
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Last Modified On: Sunday, December 17, 2000