Published on April 17th, 2012 | by James Johnson2
Hubble Captures Amazing Panorama From Tarantula Nebula
The Hubble space telescope has captured an amazing panorama of the Tarantula Nebula and its millions of young stars.
The photo specifically highlights a vast expanse known as 30 Doradus which is located 170,000 light-years aware in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small galaxy orbiting our Milky Way.
If the region were as close to us as the Orion Nebula it would be the size of 60 full moons in the sky and it would glow so brightly that it would cast shadows on the ground.
While Doradus isn’t very close Hubble is still able to make out individual stars which should allow astronomers to study each stars details. In fact inside 30 Doradus can spot stellar babies that are just a few thousand years old and which are still wrapped in the remnants of the dusky cloud of gas that gave rise to them. Other stars in the galaxy are a few tends of millions of years old.
According to Wired:
The white region in the left side of the picture contains some of the most massive stars in the universe, weighing in at hundreds of times the sun’s mass. This stellar cluster is roughly 2 million to 3 million years old and contains about 500,000 stars in total. Intense ultraviolet light released by the young stars pushes against the surrounding gas and dust, carving out the beautiful structures and filigrees seen in this image. Some of this gas and dust will be mushed together, increasing its density and potentially sparking the birth of more new stars.
Hubble has provide some excellent photographs and study pieces for scientists recently including a big discovery in the Andromeda galaxy.