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NGC2070 30 Doradus
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NGC2070 (30 Doradus)

February 22, 2005
NGC2070 (30 Doradus)

NGC2070, or 30 Doradus, the Tarantula Nebula, as seen by the CTIO 4-meter Blanco telescope. This unusual object in the Large Magellanic Cloud is the brightest known emission nebula. A central cluster of blue supergiant stars excites hydrogen gas out to a radius of about 400 light-years, although the entire nebula reaches out to at least 800 light-years, with some streamers continuing to a distance of maybe 1800 light-years. This is about thirty times larger than the Orion Nebula in our own Galaxy. 30 Doradus is also a strong radio source, and a fascinating target for infrared observation.


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