Today in pretty space pics: Hubble captures the brightest star-forming region in the neighborhood, a particularly prolific segment of the nearby Large Magellanic Cloud that is home to the most massive stars ever observed from Earth. The image above, hemming in some 650 light-years of space (horizontally), contains one of the fastest rotating stars ever seen as well as the fastest runaway star. In other words, there is no lack of action here in 30 Doradus, at the center of the Tarantula Nebula.
The James Webb Space Telescope may someday put Hubble out of business, but until then NASA’s old standby is still making new discoveries. Today, that comes to us in the form of the first exoplanet “waterworld”--a water-covered planet shrouded by a dense, steamy atmosphere, the first confirmed planet of its kind.
Does the image above look familiar? It shouldn’t, because it’s brand new. But the subject should certainly ring a bell for any space buff — it’s the same vast nebula that became one of the most beloved, coffee-table-booked, computer-wallpapered images in astronomical history. This new image of the Eagle Nebula shows the value of having space observatories that span the light spectrum.