M 8 is commonly referred to as the Lagoon
Nebula due to the bands of dust that traverse it. It is located
4100 light years away in the constellation of Saggitarius. Its dimensions
are 55x20 light years and covers 90x40 arcminutes in the sky. It
is visible with the naked eye under dark skies.
M 8 is an active star-forming region. It
contains numerous bok globules, dark dust clouds in which new stars
are forming. It also contains a young (2-million-year-old) star
cluster designated as NGC 6530.