The Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud
AAO image reference UKS 15.    « Previous || Next »

The Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud, NGC 2070
Top left is NE. Image width is about 53 arc min
Image and text © 1984-2010, Australian Astronomical Observatory
Photograph from UK Schmidt plates by David Malin.

In this picture we see the eastern end of the Large Magellanic Cloud in Dorado, where lies one of the most active star formation regions known. If this enormous complex of stars, gas and dust were at the distance of the Orion Nebula it would visible during the day and cover a quarter of the sky. While the Orion Nebula contains a mere handful of the hot blue stars which energise it, the Tarantula nebula has spawned many thousands in the region shown here, which surrounds a compact, brilliant cluster known as 30 Doradus. Like the Orion Nebula, the 30 Doradus region is a naked eye object for the keen sighted. It is however over one hundred times more distant! The Tarantula nebula is by far the biggest and most active star-forming region of the Large Magellanic Cloud and is much more massive than any of the many similar objects known in our own Galaxy.

Related images
AAT 44.     The Tarantula nebula in the LMC
AAT 68.     The bright stars around 30 Doradus in the LMC
UKS 14.    The Large Magellanic Cloud
UKS 14a.  The eastern end of the Large Magellanic Cloud
UKS 15a.  Around the 30 Doradus Nebula in the LMC
Constellation of Dorado (external site)

For details of object position and photographic exposure, search technical table by UKS reference number.

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Updated by David Malin, 2010, July 25