Stars of NGC 6523
The Lagoon Nebula

Removing the dust and gas from this star fabrication region produces an entirely unfamiliar scene- one that reveals hundreds of new, blue-hot stars that illuminate the nebula. Eventually, these stars will wander from the factory floor and travel around the center of our Galaxy along individual paths.This image roughly approximates the view seen through a small telescope from a typical suburban location.Considering the Moon is about 2,328 miles (3.747 kilometers) in diameter and 157 trillion times closer to Earth than many of the bright stars in this picture, you gain a better appreciation for how much space this enormous nebula occupies by hovering or clicking here and viewing the Moon superimposed for comparison.

A 6 panel, 75 mega-pixel image produced with a RCOS .5 meter telescope, Apogee Alta U16M, and Astrodon E-Series filters

1,080 minutes Luminance, 540 minutes Red, 540 minutes Green and 540 minutes Blue (All 1X1)
Image copyright 2010 R Jay GaBany

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View the animated extra:
Anatomy of a Stellar Factory