News from the Frontiers of Cosmology: A companion to the book The Edge of Physics
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The Stunning Lagoon Nebula

THE GEMINI OBSERVATORY released a stunning photograph of the Lagoon Nebula, a stellar nursery about 5,000 light years away, which, if you may, puts in our own galactic neighbourhood.

Argentinean astronomers Julia Arias and Rodolfo Barbá captured the image using the Gemini South telescope atop Cerro Panchon in the Chilean Andes.

The photograph is a composite of images taken using different filters, some of them collecting light that would not be visible to the naked eye. So, if you were to look at the Lagoon Nebula using a small telescope, it would appear rather different. But you can find it using an amateur telescope, if you trained it in the direction of Sagittarius in the southern sky.

Here’s a link to a high-res JPEG.

More details can be found on the Gemini Observatory website.

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