Waves breaking in the stellar lagoon
This close-up shot of the centre of the Lagoon Nebula (Messier 8) clearly shows the delicate structures formed when the powerful radiation of young stars interacts with the hydrogen cloud they formed from.
This image was created from exposures taken with the Wide Field Channel of the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on Hubble. Light from glowing hydrogen (through the F658N filter) is coloured red. Light from ionised nitrogen (through the F660N filter) is coloured green and light through a yellow filter (F550M) is coloured blue. The exposure times through each filter are 1560 s, 1600 s and 400 s respectively. The blue-white flare at the upper-left of the image is scattered light from a bright star just outside the field of view. The field of view is about 3.3 by 1.7 arcminutes.