Like brush strokes on a canvas, ridges of color seem to flow across the Lagoon Nebula, a canvas nearly 3 light-years wide.
The colors map emission from ionized gas in the nebula were recorded by the Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys.
Also known as M8, the nebula is a star-forming region in the constellation Sagittarius. Hubble's remarkably sharp, close-up view reveals undulating shapes sculpted by the energetic light and winds from the region's new born stars.
Of course, the Lagoon Nebula is a popular target for earthbound skygazers, too.
Explore further: Breaking waves in the stellar lagoon (w/ Video)