It is the largest and most complex star forming region in the entire galactic neighborhood.
Located in the
Large Magellanic Cloud, a small satellite galaxy orbiting our Milky Way galaxy,
spidery appearance is responsible for its popular name, the Tarantula
This tarantula, however, is about 1,000
Were it placed at the distance of Milky Way's
only 1,500 light-years distant and the nearest stellar nursery to Earth, it
would appear to cover about 30 degrees
(60 full moons) on the sky.
Intriguing details of the nebula are visible in
the above image shown in
The spindly arms of the
NGC 2070, a
star cluster that contains some of the brightest,
most massive stars known,
visible in blue on the right.
Since massive stars
live fast and die young, it is not so surprising that
the cosmic Tarantula
also lies near the site of the closest
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