Astronomy Picture of the Day

The N44 Complex

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The N44 Complex


A truly giant complex of
, N44 is about 1,000 light-years across.

It shines in southern skies as a denizen of our neighboring galaxy,
the Large Magellanic Cloud, 170,000
light-years away.

Winds and intense radiation from hot,
young, luminous stars in N44 excite and sculpt filaments
and streamers of the
glowing nebular gas.

But supernovae -
the death explosions of the massive short lived
stars - have also likely contributed to the region's enormous,
blown-out shapes.

The cluster of young stars seen near the center lies in
a superbubble nearly 250 light-years across.

This detailed, false-color view of the
intricate structures
codes emission from hydrogen, oxygen, and sulfur in shades
of blue and green.

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