Many Faces in Doradus

NASA, ESA, D. Lennon and E. Sabbi (ESA/STScI), J. Ander­son, S. E. de Mink, R. van der Marel, T. Sohn, and N. Wal­born (STScI), N. Bas­t­ian (Excel­lence Clus­ter, Munich), L. Bedin (INAF, Padua), E. Bressert (ESO), P. Crowther (Uni­ver­sity of Sheffield), A. de Koter (Uni­ver­sity of Ams­ter­dam), C. Evans (UKATC/STFC, Edin­burgh), A. Her­rero (IAC, Tener­ife), N. Langer (AifA, Bonn), I. Platais (JHU), and H. Sana (Uni­ver­sity of Amsterdam)

Many faces hide around the star clus­ter NGC 2060 in this image from the NASA/ESA Hub­ble Space Tele­scope.

Explore the loose col­lec­tion of stars and neb­ula. What sto­ries or pic­tures do you see? Leave a note in the com­ments below.

The star clus­ter NGC 2060 is a fam­ily of stars that are drift­ing apart. These stel­lar sib­lings were born from the same star cloud but now they are no longer grav­i­ta­tion­ally bound. Within a few mil­lion years the group­ing will cease to be as all the stars will have dis­persed. The neb­ula is full of lit­tle gems besides young stars. Look just left of cen­ter in the image. A super­nova, cre­ated when a mas­sive hot star ended its short life after burn­ing all of its nuclear fuel, exploded blow­ing a bub­ble within the cloud about 10,000 years ago. The dark area near the cen­ter of the image is a dense cloud of cold dust between Earth and the cloud. Other smaller dark globs of dust blot out the starlight from behind. Fierce stel­lar winds and blis­ter­ing ultra­vi­o­let radi­a­tion from the young stars in this neb­ula push the glow­ing gas and dust into arcs and pillars

NGC 2060 is part of 30 Doradus, the bright­est star-forming region that we know about 170,000 light-years from Earth in the Large Mag­el­lanic Cloud. The LMC is a dwarf galaxy near our Milky Way Galaxy. The mas­sive neb­ula is home to some of the most mas­sive stars in our cos­mic neigh­bor­hood. It is so bright and close, that Hub­ble can see indi­vid­ual stars offer­ing sci­en­tists infor­ma­tion on how stars are born, evolve and die.

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