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


Explanation:

An alluring sight
in dark southern skies, the
Large
Magellanic Cloud

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

Ionized
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
H II
(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
Dorado.




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