The Lagoon – aka M8 – is the largest and brightest nebula, or cloud in space, in the vicinity of the Teapot asterism in the constellation Sagittarius.

The Lagoon Nebula, also known as M8 or Messier 8, is a large gas cloud within our Milky Way galaxy, barely visible to the human eye under good conditions, but glorious with a dark sky and a bit of optical aid. So bring your binoculars and look for M8 a few degrees above and to the right of the Teapot asterism in the constellation Sagittarius.

Visually about three times the size of the full moon, the Lagoon Nebula is the largest and brightest of a number of nebulosities in and around Sagittarius. It’s widely visible throughout the populated areas of North America, and, due to its location in the sky (-24 degrees declination), observers farther south see it even higher in the sky, which is better for observing.

Look for the Lagoon in Northern Hemisphere mid-summer to mid-fall (Southern Hemisphere mid-winter to mid-spring). By early July each year, this object is crossing the meridian – appearing highest in the sky – at midnight. By early September it’s crossing the meridian as darkness falls, making it prime for early evening observations.