--- your online source for astronomical & satellite images ---
TRAPPIST First Light Image
of the Tarantula Nebula
Tarantula nebula, 30 Doradus, NGC 2070
Distance: 170000 light years
Position (J2000): R.A. 05hr 38m 42s Dec. -69° 06.0"
Image Credit: ESO/TRAPPIST/E. Jehin
Release date: June 8, 2010
More images: N0650 N1023 N0401 N1105 N0121 N0416 N1117 S0932
Click the image to buy a print
ABOUT THIS IMAGE:
This first light image of the TRAPPIST national telescope at La Silla shows the Tarantula Nebula, located in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) - one of the galaxies closest to us. Also known as 30 Doradus or NGC 2070, the nebula owes its name to the arrangement of bright patches that somewhat resembles the legs of a tarantula.
Taking the name of one of the biggest spiders on Earth is very fitting in view of the gigantic proportions of this celestial nebula - it measures nearly 1000 light-years across! Its proximity, the favourable inclination of the LMC, and the absence of intervening dust make this nebula one of the best laboratories to help understand the formation of massive stars better.
The image was made from data obtained through three filters (B, V and R) and the field of view is about 20 arcminutes across.