Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Walsh (ST-ECF), and ESO
Green bug eyes peer out of a rose-colored mist in this image from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.
Explore this tiny part of the 30 Doradus nebula. What stories and pictures do you see in the image? Leave a note below.
30 Doradus is one of the most intense star-forming regions known by astronomers. This image shows a heavyweight star that may have been kicked out of the nursery by a pair of bigger stars. The bright blue star, in the center, is called 30 Dor #016. This huge star is more than 90 times more massive than the Sun. This young star is only 1 million to 2 million years old and has traveled about 375 light-years from its original home; a star cluster that is not in this image. The star is traveling about 250,000 miles per hour. Intense radiation from the star lights up the surrounding gas and dust, causing it to glow with a green hue.
30 Doradus, also called the Tarantula Nebula, resides about 170,000 light-years from Earth, in the Large Magellanic Cloud. If you live in the southern hemisphere you can see this little galaxy hanging in the sky like a cloud. This cloud and another, called the Small Magellanic Cloud, are named after the explorer Ferdinand Magellan. Magellan was the first European to sail around the world in the 1500s.