collage of nebulae

Nebulae of the night skies

When looking towards the centre of our Milky Way Galaxy, we can catch sight of many beautiful objects in the sky.

M8 (the Lagoon Nebula) and M20 (the Trifid Nebula) are just two of the notable objects that can be seen with a large pair of binoculars or a telescope.

The Lagoon Nebula is an emission nebula. This is an interstellar cloud of gas that is lit up by the ultraviolet light of stars, which is then transformed into visible light through charged hydrogen.

lagoon nebula
Lagoon Nebula

The Trifid Nebula, meaning three lobes, is part emission nebula, part reflection nebula (coming from visible starlight that is reflected but not transformed), and part dark nebula (where the light is obscured by dust).

trifid nebula
Trifid Nebula

Off towards the left (east) of the top star of the teapot is M22, a globular star cluster. This cluster contains hundreds of thousands of stars, and is one of the brightest you can see in the night sky.

M22 star

Wondering what else you might spot in the night sky?

Check out our monthly “Eyes on the skies” series.