This visible-light image of the central region of the Lagoon nebula reveals a fantasy landscape of ridges, canyons, pillars, and mountains of gas and dust surrounding a very hot newborn star. When the visible view crossfades into an image taken in near-infrared light, the most obvious difference is the abundance of stars that fill the field of view. Most of them are more distant, background stars located behind the nebula itself. However, some of these pinpricks of light are young stars within the Lagoon Nebula. Only the densest of the gas clouds remain in the infrared view.
Publication: April 30, 2018