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.
By Jason ZigelbaumPosted 08.11.2010 at 12:45 pm 2 Comments
The ESO’s VISTA telescope has released a magnificent picture of the Tarantula Nebula in our neighboring galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud. The image was taken at the start of VISTA’s Magellanic Cloud survey, covering 184 square degrees of sky (about a thousand times the visible surface area of the moon).
The survey will provide a detailed study of star formation and three-dimensional geometry of our nearby galaxies in the Magellanic system.
When speaking of the cosmos, we like to attach really amazing modifiers to the phenomena we find there, prefixes like "super-" and "extra-" or adjectives like "massive" and "giant." So, having used up most of the good ones, we're not really sure how to describe the gargantuan (oh, that's a good one) star that European researchers just discovered with the ESO's Very Large Telescope; at 265 times the mass of our own sun, it is the largest star ever discovered, by more than 100 solar masses. That is to say: it's really, really big.