Stuck in the Lagoon’s quagmire | Bad Astronomy

The Lagoon Nebula is one of the more famous objects in the sky. It’s a big, bright gas cloud easily spotted using binoculars in the constellation of Sagittarius, and through a telescope reveals quite a bit of detail. I’ve seen it literally hundreds of times, observing in the summer when Sagittarius is up. You can even see it in a picture [I took a few weeks ago][1] (if you’re really curious, scroll to the bottom, click the pic of Sagittarius, and then look off to the right of center; the compact fuzzy pink thing is the Lagoon).

So when you take something big, bright, and close, and point Hubble at it, [the detail is pretty spectacular][2]:

[![hst_lagoon][3]][4]

As you might expect, I could go on and on about what you’re seeing here: dense clouds of gas and dust, star forming regions, shock waves, and the like. Instead, though, I’ll direct you to the four bumps, like a wave going across the nebula from left to right and downsloping a bit. Take a look at that third one from the left. Does it look familiar…?

[Punch line after the jump... don't wanna rue-een it...]

![lagoon_quagmire][5]

Oh _yeah!_ Giggity giggity lagoon!

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about because you are even older than I am, then just assume it’s really Bob Hope. Or Nixon. Or given that eyebrow ridge, Neanderthal Nixon.

I’ll stick with Quagmire, though. But not too close. Because, y’know. Ewww.

[![][6]][7] [![][8]][9]

![][10]![][11]

[1]: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/09/12/and-i-saw-a-star-rising-in-the-west/ [2]: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_1782.html [3]: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/files/2010/10/hst_lagoon1.jpg (hst_lagoon) [4]: http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/488711main_LagoonClose_hst_full.jpg [5]: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/files/2010/10/lagoon_quagmire.jpg (lagoon_quagmire) [6]: http://feedads.g.doubleclick.net/~a/ooNb9Pprutj31aoDjKK9n1FeZlE/0/di [7]: http://feedads.g.doubleclick.net/~a/ooNb9Pprutj31aoDjKK9n1FeZlE/0/da [8]: http://feedads.g.doubleclick.net/~a/ooNb9Pprutj31aoDjKK9n1FeZlE/1/di [9]: http://feedads.g.doubleclick.net/~a/ooNb9Pprutj31aoDjKK9n1FeZlE/1/da [10]: http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/BadAstronomyBlog/~4/l9Pwuq_1DUQ [11]: http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/DiscoverBlogs/~4/QWtQY826Uds

URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DiscoverBlogs/~3/QWtQY826Uds/

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