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|Description||Atlas Image mosaic of the Tarantula Nebula (also known as 30 Doradus or NGC 2070). This nebula, in the Large Magellanic Cloud, is the closest example to us of a giant ionized hydrogen (H II) region, covering several hundred parsecs in diameter. The closest analog in our Milky Way Galaxy is the H II region NGC 3603. 30 Doradus serves as a "Rosetta Stone" for massive starbursts of this kind in galaxies at larger distances from us. Clusters of hundreds of young, massive O and B stars, particularly the dense central "super star" cluster, R136, provide the ultraviolet photons which ionize and photoevaporate the large filamentary cloud. A number of other stellar populations, including red supergiants and Wolf-Rayet stars, coexist in 30 Doradus. Detailed studies in the optical of the nebula and its stellar contents shows a complex history of recent star formation. In the near-infrared, pre-main-sequence objects are also found, particularly along the Ks-bright molecular hydrogen (H2) line-emitting filaments in the nebula's periphery, which can be seen in the 2MASS image. What emerges is a scenario of new generations of stars triggered by the energy input from the massive stellar clusters, which is likely a characteristic picture for star-forming regions of this scale in galaxies.|
|Source||http://www.ipac.caltech.edu/2mass/gallery/images_hii.html (direct link)|
|Author||E. Kopan (IPAC). Atlas Image mosaic obtained as part of the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS), a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation.|
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