July 2008

This stunning image of the cosmic spider, the Tarantula Nebula and its surroundings, finally pays tribute to this amazing, vast and intricately sculpted web of stars and gas. The image covers 1 square degree on the sky and could therefore contain four times the full Moon. The original image is made of 256 million pixels! This is the largest emission nebula in the sky, and can be seen at a distance of about 170,000 light-years, in the southern constellation Dorado (The Swordfish). It is part of one of the Milky Way's neighbouring galaxies, the Large Magellanic Cloud.

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