The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula

APOD: 2016 November 8 – The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula<br />

Discover the cosmos!
Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is
featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2016 November 8

See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright:
Josep Drudis

It is the largest and most complex star forming region in the entire galactic neighborhood.

Located in the
Large Magellanic Cloud,
a small satellite galaxy orbiting our Milky Way galaxy,
the region‘s
spidery appearance is responsible for its popular name, the Tarantula

This tarantula, however, is about 1,000
light-years across.

Were it placed at the distance of Milky Way’s
Orion Nebula,
only 1,500 light-years distant and the nearest stellar nursery to Earth, it
would appear to cover about 30 degrees
(60 full moons) on the sky.

Intriguing details of the nebula are visible in
the featured image shown in
colors emitted predominantly by hydrogen and oxygen.

The spindly arms of the
Tarantula nebula
NGC 2070, a
star cluster that contains some of the brightest,
most massive stars known,
visible in blue in the image center.

Since massive stars
live fast and die young, it is not
so surprising that
the cosmic Tarantula
also lies near the site of the closest
recent supernova.

Tomorrow’s picture: stars in lanes

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Authors & editors:
Robert Nemiroff
(MTU) &
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman
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