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30 Doradus, the Tarantula Nebula, in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC)

[Tarantula Nebula]

About this image

This image of 30 Doradus, the Tarantula Nebula, in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) was taken with the Curtis Schmidt telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) in Chile, as part of the Magellanic Cloud Emission Line Survey (MCELS) project.

The Tarantula Nebula is a giant star-forming region, where energy from hot, young stars in the region creates dramatic voids and filaments in the surrounding gas. Located 160,000 light-years distant in the southern constellation Dorado, the LMC is considered the closest large galaxy to Earth.

Because of the proximity and low foreground absorption of the LMC, it is an ideal laboratory both for studies of individual HII regions, supernova remnants, and superbubbles, and for investigations of global properties using samples of these objects.

MCELS is designed to provide uniform datasets in optical emission lines that are necessary to conduct this research. The MCELS observations toward the 30 Doradus region have been used to investigate the physical properties of the HII region, examine the physical conditions of supernova remnants in the field, and study the large-scale structure of the ionized gas.

This color image was produced using three separate exposures taken in hydrogen (red), sulfur (green), and oxygen (blue) filters.

More: nebulae page, emission nebulae page, stars page, surveys page.


Minimum credit line: S. Points, C. Smith, R. Leiton, C. Aguilera and NOAO/AURA/NSF

Downloadable versions:
500 x 623 228 kb color JPEG (on this page)
1000 x 1245 784 kb color JPEG
2168 x 2700 4.17 Mb color JPEG
2168 x 2700 33.51 Mb color TIFF
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