VISTA Telescope Reveals Tarantula Nebula in Brilliant Detail

Tarantula Nebula

ESO/M.-R. Cioni/VISTA Magellanic Cloud survey. Acknowledgment: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit

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.

The telescope works by detecting light in the near-infrared part of the spectrum. The infrared light has a longer wavelength than light in the visible spectrum allowing it to pass through most space debris, revealing the stellar nursery in astonishing detail.