Tarantula Nebula or NGC 2070 (Picture of the Day)

Tarantula Nebula or NGC 2070
The Tarantula Nebula also known as 30 Doradus or NGC 2070, named after the eight-legged spider tarantula, is an emission nebula which lies 160,000 light years away from Earth. It is one of the most luminous nebula in the sky considering its distance away from the Earth. In fact it is so luminous that, if it was the same distance away from the Earth as the Orion Nebula, then it would be bright enough to cast shadows on Earth and would take up half of the sky. It is actually the largest and the most violent star forming region known in the Local Group of galaxies.

The most prominent star cluster on the nebula is known as R136 which stretches 35 light years in distance contains many of the most massive, hottest and the brightest stars known. In addition to that, the closest supernova ever observed since the invention of telescopes has occurred at the outer edge of this nebula, named SN 1987a.


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