Astronomy Picture of the Day

Shell Game in the LMC

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#87149 by @ 19.05.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
Shell Game in the LMC


An alluring sight
in dark southern skies, the
Magellanic Cloud

(LMC) is seen here through a narrow filter that transmits only
the red light of hydrogen atoms.

by energetic starlight, a hydrogen atom emits the
characteristic red
H-alpha light
as its single electron is
recaptured and transitions to lower energy states.

As a result, this image of the LMC seems covered with
shell-shaped clouds of hydrogen gas
surrounding massive, young stars.

Sculpted by the strong stellar winds and ultraviolet radiation,
the glowing
hydrogen clouds are known as
(ionized hydrogen) regions.

This high resolution mosaic view was recorded in 6 segments, each with
200 minutes of exposure time.

Itself composed of many overlapping shells,
the Tarantula Nebula,
is the large star forming region near top center.

A satellite of our Milky Way Galaxy, the LMC is about 15,000 light-years
across and lies a mere 180,000 light-years away in the constellation

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