The Lagoon Nebula is an emission nebula in the constellation Sagittarius. It's also called M8, in the Messier catalog, or NGC 6523.

As for many other nebulae, a cluster of stars that have formed in the nebula's material was discovered first. It is actually unknown if Charles Messier ment to catalogue the cluster or the nebula, but today M8 is used for the nebula alone.

A remarkable feature of the Lagoon Nebula is the presence of dark nebulae, known as "globules", which are in fact collapsing protostellar clouds.

Another remarkable feature is a very distinct shape that has been named the "Hourglass Nebula", which is a region where a vivid star formation process seem to take place currently, and where hot, young stars excite the surrounding gas causing it to glow so brightly.

The nebula is quite bright, having a visual magnitude of 6.0, making it an excellent target for amateur astronomers.

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