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The Tarantula Nebula

A most active star-forming region in the Local Group


The Tarantula Nebula, catalogued as NGC 2070, is an extragalactic emission nebula located in a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way known as the Large Magellanic cloud, which is partly visible as the star field covering the left half of this image. Located 160,000 light years away, the Tarantula has a very high absolute luminosity. The Tarantula Nebula is the most active star forming region known in the local group of galaxies, which is the cluster that includes the Milky Way. 

The Tarantula Nebula is so bright that if it were as close to us as the Orion Nebula, which lies only about 1,200 light years away, it would cast shadows on Earth. The fact that even though it is over 100 times farther (and its light diminished by more than 10,000 times as a result) but yet can still be easily seen through a small telescope is a testament to its intense light.

Imaging Details

Location: Flinders Ranges, South Australia

Date: 21 April 2015
Telescope/Lens: Borg 71FL
Mount: ZEQ25GT
Guiding: SBIG ST-i 100mm f/2.8 lens, SBIG ST-i
Camera: Canon EOS 400D (Modified: Baader UV/IR cut)
Exposure: 12x900sec @ ISO400. Darks and Flats applied. 

Image reduction, integration and processing with Pleiades Astrophoto PixInsight.

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