16 September 2009
Astronomy: The Tarantula Nebula
From Denny: These astronomy photos of the day from NASA are really something! I'm bug-eyed from having to reconstruct my Twitter account that who knows how it got messed up and I need a mini-vacation. Looking at astronomy photos really changes your focus and gives you something to wonder about.
First we have the Cosmic Hand Nebula known as the Hand of God and now we are starring in the universe the cosmic arachnid! Really does make a person wonder about just who is living in space sometimes... The Tarantula Nebula is over 1,000 light years across in diameter and is part of a large star-forming region. It's located in our neighboring galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud and lies just left of center in this photo.
The Tarantula's designation is NGC 2070. What is energizing the nebula glow? Try intense radiation, stellar winds and supernova shocks from the central cluster of young massive stars, cataloged as R136. They all come together to create the spidery filaments that resemble a cosmic spider.
What is surrounding the cosmic spider? Those bubble-shaped clouds, filaments and young star clusters all comprise the violent star-forming region. All this is located in the constellation Dorado.
Ah, I feel better now. How about you? :)