M 8 (NGC 6523) Bright Nebula in Sagittarius

Center of field at approximately: RA 18 hours 03 minutes 23 seconds, Dec -24 degrees 22 minutes 08 seconds

Size: ~ 90' x 40' Magnitude: 5.0 Class: Emission (Sharpless) 3 3 3

North is up

West to the right


 8" f5 Newtonian reflector


Miranda Laborec 35mm camera, manually guided, hypered Kodak Technical Pan 2415 film, 40 F outside temp


No filter, 25 minutes, 07/03/1986


D-19, 4.5 minutes @ 72F, 35mm negative scanned with Polaroid SprintScan 4000 (4000 dpi)

Scan is a crop from 35mm negative, scan processed in Photoshop CS5.1


Mt Pinos, CA

Notes: This is one of the Messier objects not currently 'visible' from my Thousand Oaks observatory ... In an effort to 'fill in' my Messier images page, I will post what film images I have. My film scanner is not presently hooked up, so I am using scans made for my old film website from the early 2000's.

M 8, aka the Lagoon Nebula, is a complex object. It includes several Dark Nebulae (B 86, 89 and 296), an open cluster (NGC 6530), and more than one other NGC designation of the nebulosity. Here I will reference only the NGC designation my software (Megastar v5.0.13) uses.

Most of the film scans from the 8" f5 Newtonian reflector were centered on the object of interest, and were generally scanned to file as a 2000 x 2000 pixel crop of the 35mm negative. This image is a scan of about 80% of the 35mm negative (3723 x 5273 pixels).

Reduced in Photoshop to 1600 pixels, and saved under "Save for Web & Devices".

From the NGC / IC Project:

Contemporary Visual Observation(s) for NGC 6523
NGC 6523 = M8 = Lagoon Nebula = LBN 25 = Sh 2-28: = N6526 = N6533 = IC 1271
18 03 41 -24 22.8
V = 5.8;  Size 90x40

17.5": extremely bright detailed nebulosity which nearly fills a 50' field.  
Extensive fainter nebulosity fills the region to the north and a thin extension 
is to the east.  Cut by a large high contrast dark lane ("Lagoon") oriented SW-
NE.  Contains 9 Sagittarii (V = 6.0) and a mag 7 star 3' NNE.  A very bright 30" 
nebulous knot ("Hourglass Nebula") is near the center 3' SW of 9 Sag.  Includes 
a bright open cluster N6530 on the E side.  Prominent naked-eye object in dark 
sky.  See observing notes for N6530 and IC 1271.

- by Steve Gottlieb

NGC 6533 = N6523 = M8 = Lagoon Nebula = LBN 25 = N6526 = IC 1271
18 03 41 -24 22.8

See observing notes for N6523 = M8.

- by Steve Gottlieb
Historical Research Notes / Correction for NGC 6523
NGC 6523 is the star-forming core of M8 at the heart of the bright 
northwestern part of the nebula.  NGC 6526 (which see) is the southeastern 
part of the nebula, and NGC 6530 is the bright star cluster 10-12 arcmin 
following N6523.  NGC 6533 (which see) applies to the entire M8 complex, and 
IC 1271 and IC 4678 (both of which see) apply to condensations in its eastern 
reaches. - Dr. Harold G. Corwin, Jr.
Correction Disclaimer
As with all corrections to the NGC and IC Catalogues, there is a certain margin
for error, even though the evidence supporting the correction may be strong and
compelling. It is with this in mind that we ask the user to use this information
as 'Most Probable', but never to assume the correction is 'Absolute'.  All
published corrections are based on an exhaustive 'paper chase' of the historical
record back to the original discoverer's published notes/papers, and are
therefore based upon the historical accuracy (or inaccuracy) of those particular
notes/papers. In short, Caveat Emptor! - Robert E. Erdmann, Jr.