Tarantula Nebula area (NGC 2070)

clic for 30% size 1179 x 763 (482 kB)

clic for 60% size 2358 x 1526 (2070 kB)

clic for 30% size H-alpha version 1182 x 800 (362 kB)

clic for 50% size H-alpha version 1970 x 1333 (932 kB)

About this Image

The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is an irregular dwarf galaxy orbiting our Milky Way galaxy, and thus is a member of our Local Group of galaxies.
Near the northeastern edge a complex area of emission nebulae, dominated by the bright Tarantula Nebula (NGC 2020) is situated. To the lower right corner the star density increases approaching the LMC.

This area, also named 30 Doradus is actually an immense star forming region. The region's spidery appearance is responsible for its popular name, the Tarantula Nebula in the southern constellation Dorado. If the Tarantual Nebula were at the distance of the Orion Nebula (1,500 light-years), the nearest stellar nursery to Earth, it would appear to cover about 30 degrees on the sky or 60 full moons. The spindly arms of the Tarantula Nebula surround NGC 2070, a cluster that contains some of the intrinsically brightest, most massive stars known. The colors are very much differing from common emission areas, showing its chaotic structure.
The distance to this area is estimated at 179,000 light years. North is up.

Find more information and a stunning image from the ESO here: 1.

Below you see a crop on the Tarantula Nebula in 80% size. This image has been enhanced by a L image with the TEC-140 at f/14.

Technical Details


TEC-140 refractor at f/7;
additional L at f/16 with Baader Fluorit Flatfield Converter

Mount AP-400 GEM
Camera SBIG STL-11000M at -25C, internal filter wheel
Filters Astronomik Ha-LRGB
Date May 21-28, 2006.
Location Hakos/Namibia
Sky Conditions mag 6.5 sky, good transparency, temperature 5 C,
Exposure Ha:R:G:B = 60:30:30:30 min (10-minute sub-exposures) at f/7
L = 60 min (10-minute sub-exposures) at f/16
all 1x1.
Processing Image aquisition in Maxim DL 4.5; Image preprocessing by CCDStack;
Photoshop: curves, color balance, Ha and L layering, mild unsharp mask