Picture of the Day: Our Neighbor, the Tarantula Nebula

By Rebecca J. Rosen

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Also known as 30 Doradus, this star-forming region is located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, the third closest galaxy to the Milky Way. There are approximately 2,400 stars at the center of the nebula, creating powerful radiation and winds. The above image is a composite of information from two of NASA's Great Observatories, the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Spitzer Space Telescope. In the picture, the pockets of blue are multi-million degree gas, detected by Chandra in X-ray, emitted by the stellar winds and supernova explosions. The orange swirls, detected in infrared by Spitzer, are cooler gases and dust.

Below, recent Pictures of the Day:

Image: NASA.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/11/picture-of-the-day-our-neighbor-the-tarantula-nebula/248556/