Photo of the Week for July 31, 2015
The summer Milky Way is chock-a-block with wondrous sights for the telescope or even ordinary binoculars. And perhaps most impressive is the bright patch of stellar haze rising like steam from the spout of the Sagittarius Teapot asterism. In the heart of that region is the Lagoon Nebula, otherwise known by its catalogue designation, M8. The Lagoon is an emission nebula enveloping a clutch of newborn stars, including those making up the open cluster NGC 6530, situated just to the left of the brightest part of the nebula. Although the Lagoon registers as pinkish-red in this photo, to the eye it appears pale white — cameras are vastly more sensitive to colour in dim light than human vision.
Ian Barredo captured this lovely portrait of the Lagoon Nebula on June 21, 2015, from Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, which straddles the border between Alberta and Saskatchewan. He combined three 10-minute exposures at ISO 3200, taken with a Nikon D610 DSLR camera attached to a Sky-Watcher 80-millimetre apochromatic refractor telescope.