Southern Sky Gems Observatory, Kalahari Desert, Namibia
Total Exposure Time: 5.5 hours Bin1:L 15 x 10 min.;Bin2: R,G,B 6x10 min.each
This image is 1570x1349 pixels
Officina Stellare RiDK 305 F7.9 OTA
SBIG STF8300M, AP GTO1200 mount, guided w/MaximDL
RA 05h 38m 40s, Dec -69° 05' 14"
Pos Angle +90° 05' (R), FL 2400 mm, 0.86"/Pixel
Processed with PixInSight using IP4AP methodologies (www.ip4ap.com)
It is the largest and most complex star forming region in the entire galactic neighborhood. Located in the Large Magellanic Cloud,
a small satellite galaxy orbiting our Milky Way galaxy, the region's spidery appearance is responsible for its popular name, the Tarantula nebula.
This tarantula, however, is about 1,000 light-years across. Were it placed at the distance of Milky Way's Orion Nebula, only 1,500 light-years distant
and the nearest stellar nursery to Earth, it would appear to cover about 30 degrees (60 full moons) on the sky.
Intriguing details of the nebula are visible in the above image shown in absolute true colors (this is not a narrow band image, but a true well-balanced RGB).
The spindly arms of the Tarantula nebula surround NGC 2070, a star cluster that contains some of the brightest, most massive stars known, visible in blue in the image center.
Since massive stars live fast and die young, it is not so surprising that the cosmic Tarantula also lies near the site of a close recent supernova