Tag Archives: Large Magellanic Cloud

The Cosmic Web of the Tarantula Nebula


Image Credit & Copyright: Damian Peach

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 nebula. 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 above image shown in near true colors. The spindly arms of the Tarantula nebula surround NGC 2070, a star cluster that contains some of the brightest, most massive stars known, visible in blue on the right. Since massive stars live fast and die young, it is not so surprising that the cosmic Tarantula also lies near the site of a close recent supernova.

NASA APOD 17-Feb-2014

From the Northern to the Southern Cross

Image Credit & Copyright: Nicholas Buer

Explanation: There is a road that connects the Northern to the Southern Cross but you have to be at the right place and time to see it. The road, as pictured above, is actually the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy; the right place, in this case, is dark Laguna Cejar in Salar de Atacama of Northern Chile; and the right time was in early October, just after sunset. Many sky wonders were captured then, including the bright Moon, inside theMilky Way arch; Venus, just above the Moon; Saturn and Mercury, just below the Moon; the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds satellite galaxies, on the far left; red airglow near the horizon on the image left; and the lights of small towns at several locations across the horizon. One might guess that composing this 30-image panorama would have been a serene experience, but for that one would have required earplugs to ignore the continuedbrays of wild donkeys.
NASA APOD 27-Jan-2014

The Tarantula Nebula

The Tarantula Nebula (also known as 30 Doradus, or NGC 2070) is an H II region in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). It was originally thought to be a star, but in 1751 Nicolas Louis de Lacaille recognized its nebular nature.

The Tarantula Nebula has an apparent magnitude of 8. Considering its distance of about 49 kpc (160,000 light years), this is an extremely luminous non-stellar object. Its luminosity is so great that if it were as close to Earth as the Orion Nebula, the Tarantula Nebula would cast shadows. In fact, it is the most active starburst region known in the Local Group of galaxies. It is also one of the largest such region in the Local Group with an estimated diameter of 200 pc. The nebula resides on the leading edge of the LMC, where ram pressure stripping, and the compression of the interstellar medium likely resulting from this, is at a maximum. At its core lies the compact star cluster R136 (approximate diameter 35 light years) that produces most of the energy that makes the nebula visible. The estimated mass of the cluster is 450,000 solar masses, suggesting it will likely become a globular cluster in the future.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Boren-Simon PowerNewt 8
Imaging cameras: QSI 583 wsg
Mounts: Sky-Watcher NEQ6
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Boren-Simon PowerNewt 8
Guiding cameras: Starlight Xpress Lodestar
Focal reducers: Borel-Simon Coma Corrector
Software: Maxim DL, photoshop, Registax, CCDStack, Cartes du Ciel
Filters: Astrodon OIII 5nm, Astrodon SII 5nm, Astrodon H-alpha 5nm
Accessories: Sky-Watcher SW Electric Focuser
Resolution: 3326×2504
Dates: Dec. 10, 2013
Locations: Home
Astrodon H-alpha 5nm: 14×180″ -15C bin 1×1
Astrodon OIII 5nm: 14×300″ -15C bin 1×1
Astrodon SII 5nm: 14×420″ -15C bin 1×1
Integration: 3.5 hours
Darks: ~10
Flats: ~10
Bias: ~10

Autor: Jean-Marie Locci

22 December 2013

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