The Lagoon Nebula

The Lagoon Nebula is an emission nebula and H II region in the constellation Sagittarius. The open star cluster NGC 6530 is located within the nebula.

The Lagoon Nebula is between four and six thousand light years away from the Earth and around 110 by 50 light years across.

The Lagoon Nebula M8
VLT Survey Telescope (VST) at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile image of the Lagoon Nebula. Image Credit: ESO/VPHAS+ team, from


The equatorial coordinates of the Lagoon Nebula are Right Ascension: 18h 03m 37s, Declination: −24° 23′ 12″.

Star map showing location of the Lagoon Nebula
Locating the Lagoon Nebula from the Sagittarius ‘teapot’ asterism

To locate the Lagoon Nebula, first find the ‘teapot’ asterism in the constellation of Sagittarius, then follow the centre of the ‘spout’ upwards by about the same distance as the height of the spout itself.

The Lagoon Nebula will appear as a bright fuzzy patch of light through a small telescope or a good pair of binoculars. In good viewing conditions, the Lagoon Nebula should be visible with the unaided eye.

The Trifid Nebula M20 and M21, an open star cluster, are located in close proximity to the Lagoon Nebula.

To find the Lagoon Nebula’s current position in the sky from your location, visit our Night Sky Simulator.

Astronomy, Cosmology, Space and Astrophysics