Astronomy Picture of the Day

Tentacles of the Tarantula Nebula

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Tentacles of the Tarantula Nebula

The largest, most violent star forming region known in the whole
Local Group of galaxies
lies in our neighboring galaxy the
Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC).

Were the Tarantula Nebula at the distance of the
Orion Nebula -- a local star forming region --
it would take up fully half the sky.

Also called
30 Doradus, the red and pink
gas indicates a massive
emission nebula, although
supernova remnants and
dark nebula also exist there.

The bright knot of stars left of center is called
R136 and contains many of the most
massive, hottest, and brightest stars known.

above image taken with the
European Southern Observatory's (ESO's)
Wide Field Imager
is one of the
most detailed ever of this vast star forming region.

ESO has made it possible to fly around and into this detailed image by
clicking here.

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