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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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Public domain This file is in the public domain because it was created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that "NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted". (See Template:PD-USGov, NASA copyright policy page or JPL Image Use Policy.)


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