Tentacles of the Tarantula Nebula

tarantula.jpgThe Astronomy Picture of the Day by the NASA is my daily meeting with the sky, its billions stars, galaxies and other nebulae. Most of the time, the images are just great.

Today’s photo features the Tarantula Nebula and is really jaw-breaking. It was taken by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), located in Chile.

You will find in the article the explanation given by the NASA as well as some additional information on ESO.

Here is the description given by the NASA on this beautiful picture.

The largest, most violent star forming region known in the whole Local Group of galaxies lies in our neighboring galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC).

Were the Tarantula Nebula at the distance of the Orion Nebula — a local star forming region — it would take up fully half the sky. Also called 30 Doradus, the red and pink gas indicates a massive emission nebula, although supernova remnants and dark nebula also exist there.

The bright knot of stars left of center is called R136 and contains many of the most massive, hottest, and brightest stars known.

The above image taken with the European Southern Observatory‘s (ESO’s) Wide Field Imager is one of the most detailed ever of this vast star forming region. ESO has made it possible to fly around and into this detailed image by clicking here.

Image Credit & Copyright: WFI, MPG/ESO 2.2-m Telescope, La Silla, ESO

The image I used for this post was the original picture scaled down to 500 pixels. The full size one is 3000*3412 pixels and weights nearly 15 Mb. Watching it full screen is just something that will amaze you by its sheer magnificence.

I hope you enjoy this image as much as I do and wait for your comments on this kind of posts.

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