Friday, January 13, 2023

The Lively Center of the Lagoon Nebula

8:58 PM | ,

The center of the Lagoon Nebula is a whirlwind of spectacular star formation. Visible near the image center, at least two long funnel-shaped clouds, each roughly half a light-year long, have been formed by extreme stellar winds and intense energetic starlight. The tremendously bright nearby star, Herschel 36, lights the area while vast walls of dust hide and redden other hot young stars.

As energy from these stars pours into the cool dust and gas, large temperature differences in adjoining regions are created, generating shearing winds which are believed to create the funnels.

This picture, spanning about 10 light years, combines images taken in six colors by the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope. The Lagoon Nebula, also known as M8, lies about 5000 light years away toward the constellation of the Archer (Sagittarius).

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble; Processing & Copyright: Mehmet Hakan Özsaraç

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