Image of the week: The Tarantula Nebula

Tarantula Nebula

Image: NASA, ESA, E. Sabbi (STScI), via Flickr.

The spectacular Tarantula Nebula is located in our nearest galactic neighbour, the Large Magellanic Cloud. This composite infrared Hubble image offers one of the most detailed views yet of the nebula, a great cloud of ionised hydrogen gas and dust where new stars are being formed.

The image was taken as part of the Hubble Tarantula Treasury Project, which is working to map and image some of the millions of stars within the nebula. The Tarantula Nebula contains several star clusters, including one massive super star cluster called R136 (to the left of centre in this image) which is responsible for much of the nebula’s light.

Read more from the European Space Agency.