Star Cluster R136 Bursts Out (2009 Dec 21)

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APOD Robot
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Star Cluster R136 Bursts Out (2009 Dec 21)

Post by APOD Robot » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:56 am

Image Star Cluster R136 Bursts Out

Explanation: In the center of star-forming region 30 Doradus lies a huge cluster of the largest, hottest, most massive stars known. These stars, known collectively as star cluster R136, were captured above in visible light by the newly installed Wide Field Camera peering though the recently refurbished Hubble Space Telescope. Gas and dust clouds in 30 Doradus, also known as the Tarantula Nebula, have been sculpted into elongated shapes by powerful winds and ultraviolet radiation from these hot cluster stars. The 30 Doradus Nebula lies within a neighboring galaxy known as the Large Magellanic Cloud and is located a mere 170,000 light-years away.


bparsons
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Re: Star Cluster R136 Bursts Out (2009 Dec 21)

Post by bparsons » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:47 pm

What cosmic events can form masses of gas and dust the size of the Tarantula Nebula, which contains more than enough matter to create a “cluster of the largest, most massive stars known?”

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bystander
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Re: Star Cluster R136 Bursts Out (2009 Dec 21)

Post by bystander » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:33 pm

bparsons wrote:What cosmic events can form masses of gas and dust the size of the Tarantula Nebula, which contains more than enough matter to create a “cluster of the largest, most massive stars known?”
My guess would be interaction among the LMC, SMC, and the Milky Way.

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Re: Star Cluster R136 Bursts Out (2009 Dec 21)

Post by GaryR » Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:10 am

I recall that during the 1950s, when I was a teenager interested in all things astronomical, that astronomers once thought that 30 Doradus was a single massive star.

Gary R