Hubble Space Telescope composite image of a portion of the Tarantula Nebula’s central cavity. The flood of UV light and gusts of hot particles flowing freely from the young stars of 30 Doradus have hollowed out a bubble in the gaseous nebula. Only with Hubble’s exceptional resolution could the intricacy and three-dimensionality of these features be revealed.
The Hubble data have been combined with ground-based observations that trace hydrogen gas (in red) and oxygen (in blue). Together, this region can be appreciated as a microcosm of the larger nebula: a swirling palette of gas, dust, and stars in the midst of tumultuous upheaval.
Stars in the nebula number more than half a million.
Hat tip to Barry Ritholz.