M8 - NGC 6523
DSS image of M8
Overlaid DSS image of M8, 120' x 120' with north at top and west to the right

Aladin viewer for the region around M8
Lagoon Nebula
Lac III.13, Bode 45, h 3722, GC 4361, Sh 2-25, LBN 25

Type  Bright Nebula
Magnitude  5.8
Size  90' x 45' @ 90°
Right Ascension  18h 3'  (2000)
Declination  24° 23' S
Constellation  Sagittarius
Description  !!!, vB, eL, eiF, w L Cl
Classification  E
Observing Notes

Andrew Cooper
Aug 11, 2017    Waikoloa, HI (map)
Hodgepodge w/TV-76mm f/6 APO @ 30x

A compact cluster of stars surrounded by nebulosity (the Lagoon Nebula NGC6533), bright, coarse, fully resolved, about 10' across, embedded in the brightest central region of the nebula

Andrew Cooper
Jun 30, 2010    Keck Observatory, Mauna Kea Summit (map)
76mm f/6 APO, TeleVue-76 @ 14x

Large, bright, obvious to the unaided eye, a stunning region, the low power refractor view encompassing M8, M20, and M21, giving a different perspective of space filled with knots of nebulae and the associated young star clusters, here is creation in process

Andrew Cooper
Jun 18, 2006    TIMPA, Avra Valley, AZ (map)
90mm f/12 APO Refractor Violet Haze

Large and bright nebula involved with a bright coarse cluster, dark lanes and bright knots of nebula make it a complex object, to the east a bright cluster of twenty 7-9 mag. stars form a distinct group, just to the west of this a dark north-south lane divides the nebula, the brightest knot of nebula in in the southwest quadrant punctuated by several brighter stars, faint nebula is visible throughout the field with the notable exception of a dark void just west and slightly south

Andrew Cooper
May 24, 1998    Picacho Peak State Park, AZ (map)
20cm f/10 SCT

As always a showpiece object. Extensive nebulosity around cluster

Rev. T.W. Webb
May 19, 1885    Hardwick, Herefordshire, England (map)

Splendid Galaxy object; visible to the naked eye. In a large field where we find a bright, coarse triple star, followed by a resolvable luminous mass, including two stars, or starry centres, and then by a loose bright cl. enclosed by several stars: a very fine combination. h., a set of milky streaks and loops. Se. suspects change, and finds the spectrum gaseous.
― Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes, T. W. Webb, 1917

John Herschel
Jun 27, 1837    

A collection of nebulous folds and matter surrounding and including a number of dark, oval vacancies and, in one place, coming to so great degree of brightness as to offer the appearance of an elongated nucleus. Superimposed upon this nebula and extending in one direction beyond its area, is a fine and rich cluster of scattered stars which seems to have no connection with it as the nebula does not, as in the region of Orion, show any tendency to congregate about the stars.

Charles Messier
May 23, 1764    

A cluster which appears in the shape of a nebula when observed with an ordinary telescope of 3 feet; but with an excellent instrument one perceives nothing but a large quantity of small stars; near this cluster is a fairly bright star, surrounded by a very faint glow: this is the ninth star of Sagittarius, of seventh magnitude, according to Flamsteed: this cluster appears in elongated shape, which extends from North-East to South-West, between the arc of Sagittarius & the foot of Ophiuchus."
― Connaissance des Temps, 1781
Other Data Sources for M8
Associated objects for M8
Nearby objects for M8

Drawings, descriptions, and CCD photos are copyright Andrew Cooper unless otherwise noted, no usage without permission.

A complete list of credits and sources can be found on the about page