VLT Survey Telescope Captures 16,000 Pixel Wide Image of Lagoon Nebula

Posted on January 26, 2014

Detail image of Lagoon Nebula from VLT Survey Telescope


The VLT Survey Telescope (VST) at ESO's Paranal Observatory in Chile has captured a detailed new image of the Lagoon Nebula. The nebula, also known as Messier 8 or NGC 6523, is located around 5000 light-years from us in the constellation of Sagittarius. The giant cloud of gas and dust is 100 light-years across. Many new stare are forming within the cloud.

The VST was not being pointed at the Lagoon Nebula deliberately. The huge image was captured as part of an even bigger survey called VPHAS+. These surveys of the Milky Way are studying the nature of dark energy, searching for quasdars, looking for hidden objects and more.

The new image is 16,000 pixels wide. A zoomable version of the image can be found here.

Image: ESO/VPHAS+ team