Picture of the Day: The Nebula Formerly Known as a Star

dracubla615.jpg

NASA

This is a nebula we used to think was a star. Located in a neighboring galaxy called the Large Magellanic Cloud, astronomers long called this object 30 Doradus, and labeled it a star. It wasn't until the mid-18th century that Nicholas Louis de Lacaille detected that it was, in fact, a nebula. We now sometimes call it the Tarantula Nebula.

There's no color enhancement or significant doctoring in this image: Unlike many astronomical pictures, everything shown is in the visible light spectrum. The Hubble Space Telescope took the photograph. 

Below, recent Pictures of the Day:


Presented by

Robinson Meyer is an associate editor at The Atlantic, where he covers technology.

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her middle school. Then Humans of New York told her story to the Internet—and everything changed.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

Video

What Fifty Shades Left Out

A straightforward guide to BDSM

More in Technology

Just In