ECKHARD SLAWIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ECKHARD SLAWIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Large Magellanic Cloud. Optical image of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way, in the constellation Dorado, the swordfish. North is at top. This galaxy is the nearest galaxy to the Milky Way, lying around 170,000 light years away. The large pink area on the left edge of the LMC is the Tarantula Nebula (NGC 2070). This is a huge emission nebula, a starbirth region which glows pink due to the ionisation of the hydrogen gas it contains by radiation from hot young stars within it. It is one of the largest and most powerful emission nebulae known.
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