Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tarantula Nebula (NGC 2070)

The Tarantula Nebula (NGC 2070) is a giant star forming region (H II region) in the Large Magellanic Cloud. It is more than 1,000 light-years in diameter and 180,000 light years away from the Solar System. The Tarantula Nebula is an extremely luminous non-stellar object.

Within the Tarantula (NGC 2070), intense radiation and stellar winds gush out from the central young cluster of massive stars, cataloged as R136, energizing the nebular glow and shaping the spidery filaments. The Tarantula Nebula NGC 2070 was first cataloged as a star, 30 Doradus, but Nicolas Louis de Lacaille recognized its nebular nature in 1751.