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Homeless star in 30 Doradus

Homeless star in 30 Doradus

Date: 11 May 2010
Satellite: Hubble Space Telescope
Depicts: 30 Doradus, the Tarantula Nebula
Copyright: ESO. Acknowledgments: J. Alves (Calar Alto, Spain), B. Vandame, and Y. Beletski (ESO). Processing by B. Fosbury (ST-ECF)

This is an image of the Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and its surroundings. The LMC is a satellite galaxy to our Milky Way system, located in the southern constellation of Dorado (the Swordfish) at a distance of approximately 170 000 light-years.

Within this image is the runaway heavyweight star, called 30 Dor #016. It is 90 times more massive than the Sun and is travelling at more than 400 000 kilometres an hour from its home.

The young star, only one million to two million years old, may have travelled about 375 light-years from its suspected home in bright star cluster R136. Nestled in the core of 30 Doradus, R136 is one of the most massive young star clusters in nearby galaxies, containing several stars topping 100 solar masses each. 30 Doradus, also called the Tarantula Nebula, resides roughly 170 000 light-years from Earth, in the Large Magellanic Cloud.

The image was taken with the Wide Field Imager (WFI) camera on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
29-May-2024 15:02 UT

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