Spectacular images of the Tarantula Nebula unveiled by ESO


To better understand the birth of stars, astrophysicists can use the Alma radio telescope network in addition to other instruments. They regularly review the case of 30 Doradus’ nursery of young stars, also known as the Tarantula Nebula. ESO today unveils new high-resolution observations covering a large region of the nebula. Alma, by measuring the radiation from the carbon monoxide molecules in the nebula, allowed them to map its large clouds of cold gas that collapse to give birth to new stars.

In its search for its origins, the noosphere is unfortunately unable to reproduce the conditions of birth of the Solar system from thecollapse of a molecular cloud in the Milky Way more than 4.5 billion years ago. But fortunately theUniverse observable takes care of doing these experiments for us under various conditions, as if we controlled them at will to better understand the causes and results by varying the parameters while the others remain constant.

For some time, among the natural celestial laboratories considered, there is the nebula of the Tarantula – one of the training regions ofstars the brightest and most active in our galactic neighborhood. Also called 30 Doradus, or NGC 2070, is in fact about 170,000 light years ours Galaxy, in the famous Large Magellanic Cloud. Moreover, it is not far from 30 Doradus that the famous supernova 1987A.

This zoomed-in video begins with an expansive view of the Milky Way and ends with a close-up of a rich star-forming region in the nearby Large Magellanic Cloud in the southern constellation of Dorada. The specific region shown, 30 Doradus, is also known as the Tarantula Nebula. The final view of these clouds was captured by ESO’s VLT and Vista and superimposed on the new radio data acquired by Alma. Alma’s data reveals bright yellow-red streaks of cold, dense gas that have the potential to collapse and form new stars. © ESO / Digitized Sky Survey 2 / N. Risinger ( / R. Gendler (, Alma (ESO / NAOJ / NRAO) / Wong et al., ESO / M.-R. Cioni Survey / Magellanic Cloud View. Recognition: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit. Music: John Dyson

A laboratory to understand the birth of the first stars of 150 solar masses

The astrophysicists study the Tarantula Nebula at various wavelengths and with different tools such as Hubblethe Very large telescope (VLT) of the’ESO in the visible, Alma (Array Atacama Large Millimeter / Submillimeter) in the wave domain Radio or with theInfrared sensing telescope for astronomy (View) in L ‘infraredalso from ESO.

Increasingly detailed combinations of images and accompanying articles, analyzing these images, are periodically brought to the fore as the tall image resolution published today by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and which includes data from Alma as it accompanies an article in The astrophysical diary freely available at arXiv .

In the ESO press release accompanying the publication, Guido De Marchi, researcher at the European Space Agency (ESA) and the co-author of the article explains that ” what makes 30 Doradus unique is that it is close enough to allow us to study in detail how stars are formed, and its properties are similar to those found in very distant galaxies when the Universe was young. Thanks to 30 Doradus, we can study how stars formed 10 billion years ago, when most of the stars were born“.

This video begins with a view of the star-forming region 30 Doradus in visible wavelengths, taken with ESO’s 2.2-meter telescope at La Silla Observatory. During the video, the image switches to an infrared view of the Tarantula Nebula. Infrared data is provided by ESO’s VLT and Vista and reveals pink clouds of hot gas. The radio data acquired by Alma are then superimposed, represented by bright red-yellow bands. These bands highlight the location of cold, dense gas clouds that have the potential to collapse and form new stars. The radiographic data is then presented on its own, detailing some of the spider structures that gave rise to the nickname of the Tarantula Nebula. © ESO, M. Kornmesser, Alma (ESO / NAOJ / NRAO) / Wong et al., ESO / M.-R. Cioni Survey / Magellanic Cloud View. Recognition: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit

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