Behold: M8, the Lagoon Nebula – a vast interstellar cloud where the stars battle to be seen amid the dust and gas. To wit:
…this photogenic nebula is visible even without binoculars towards the constellation of the Archer (Sagittarius). The energetic processes of star formation create not only the colours but the chaos. The glowing gas results from high-energy starlight striking interstellar hydrogen gas and trace amounts of sulphur, and oxygen gases. The dark dust filaments that lace M8 were created in the atmospheres of cool giant stars and in the debris from supernovae explosions. The light from M8 we see today left about 5,000 years ago. Light takes about 50 years to cross this section of M8.
(Image: Zhuoqun Wu, Chilescope)