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

By Robinson Meyer
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:


This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/07/picture-of-the-day-the-nebula-formerly-known-as-a-star/260475/