Messier 8 is a large emission nebula located in Sagittarius. Intense ultraviolet radiation emitted from hot young stars in the nebula cause the atomic hydrogen to glow a pinkish red. A star forming region, the nebula contains the open cluster NGC 6530 along with several Bok globules, which are dark collapsing areas of the nebula, along with 4 Herbig-Haro objects which are patches of nebulosity associated with newly born stars. The entire nebula spans a radius of 55 ly x 20 ly. It is one of only two nebula in the northern hemisphere barely visible as a patch of nebulosity. The other being the Orion Nebula.
Image is enhanced by using a narrow band hydrogen-alpha filter that only allows light through from the ionized hydrogen, increasing the detail visibly.
Example of an Ha image of the nebula.