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Uploaded: 11/03/09 5:19 AM GMT
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The Tarantula is situated 170,000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud in the Southern sky and is clearly visible to the naked eye as a large milky patch. Astronomers believe that this smallish irregular galaxy is currently going through a violent period in its life. It is orbiting around the Milky Way and has had several close encounters with it. It is believed that the interaction with the Milky Way has caused an episode of energetic star formation - part of which is visible as the Tarantula Nebula.

Just above the centre of the image there is a huge cluster of very hot stars called R136. The stars in R136 are also among the most massive stars we know. R136 is also a very young cluster, its oldest stars being 'just' 5 million years old or so.

Credit: ESA/NASA, ESO and Danny LaCrue


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11/03/09 8:07 AM GMT
Incredible. It certainly looks like it's undergoing a violent upheaval, doesn't it? Thank you for taking the time to do such a nice write up.
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It's hard to conceal a water balloon.~Calvin (Bill Watterson)
11/03/09 10:46 AM GMT
Stunning!! Sweet swirls of color!!
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Why do the pictures come out square when the lens is round??
11/03/09 2:21 PM GMT
My favorite Space! Unique beauty!
Initially when I read the title of the photograph, I thought that it was a real tarantula and I opened the photos with this mental attitude and expect to see a huge spider like those my son and his girlfriend saw the home ... but my surprise was enormous. Thank you so much for beauty that imagine.
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Oculus vitae sapientia. ***
11/03/09 9:52 PM GMT
Magnificent..and so Beautiful.Faved and saved.
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11/10/09 4:31 PM GMT
Fine, very fine, looks like fractal :)
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11/11/09 9:46 PM GMT
Absolutely gorgeous!! Keep it up!

P.S. if you get a chance, take a look at my gallery. Any comments, criticisms, advice, etc. on any specific pics would be more than welcome! Have an awesome day!
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To take a photograph is to make a presentation of God's work. Do so Wisely. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~Christian Of Caedes~~

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