ESA / NASA, ESO AND DANNY LACRUE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ESA / NASA, ESO AND DANNY LACRUE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Hubble Space Telescope (HST) image of the centre of the Tarantula nebula. The Tarantula nebula, also known as 30 Doradus and NGC 2070, is an emission nebula that is nearly 1000 light years across. It orbits the Milky Way and has had several close encounters with our galaxy, resulting in episodes of energetic star formation. One region of star formation, R136, can be seen just above centre. R136 is also home to some of the most massive stars observed. Near the bottom of the image is the star cluster Hodge 301, which contains old stars, some of which have exploded as supernovae. Shockwaves from these explosions have compressed the gases around the cluster onto filaments and sheets. The Tarantula nebula is located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, in the constellation Doradus, 170,000 light years from Earth. Mosaic image data obtained from 15 different exposures taken by the HST's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) superimposed onto images taken by the European Southern Observatory's New Technology Telescope at La Silla Observatory, Chile.
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