Diffuse Nebula in Sagittarius
The Lagoon Nebula is one of the brightest nebulae in the sky, and one of the easiest to see with the naked eye. On summer evenings in the northern hemisphere, it can be seen as an oval patch above the spout of the Sagittarius "teapot."
The Lagoon gets its name from the dark rift that separates the two brightest sections of the nebula. The eastern portion of the nebula (left in this image) contains the open cluster NGC 6530, a group of about 100 stars.
Image details: Exposure times of 30 minutes luminance and 12 minutes each of red, green and blue, taken with an SBIG 8300M imager and a 12" Meade telescope at f/7.
Below: The total exposure time for this image was relatively short, and the picture shows only the brightest parts of the nebula.
Image details: 3 images, each 300 seconds at ISO 1600, taken with a Canon 400D camera through a Meade 12” telescope at f/6.8.