APOD: Star Formation in the Tarantula Nebula (2012 May 16)

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APOD: Star Formation in the Tarantula Nebula (2012 May 16)

Postby APOD Robot » Wed May 16, 2012 4:06 am

Image Star Formation in the Tarantula Nebula

Explanation: The largest, most violent star forming region known in the whole Local Group of galaxies lies in our neighboring galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). Were the Tarantula Nebula at the distance of the Orion Nebula -- a local star forming region -- it would take up fully half the sky. Also called 30 Doradus, the red and pink gas indicates a massive emission nebula, although supernova remnants and dark nebula also exist there. The bright knot of stars left of center is called R136 and contains many of the most massive, hottest, and brightest stars known. The above image is one of the largest mosaics ever created by observations of the Hubble Space Telescope and has revealed unprecedented details of this enigmatic star forming region. The image is being released to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of Hubble's launch.

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Re: APOD: Star Formation in the Tarantula Nebula (2012 May 1

Postby bystander » Wed May 16, 2012 5:05 am

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Re: APOD: Star Formation in the Tarantula Nebula (2012 May 1

Postby orin stepanek » Wed May 16, 2012 12:49 pm

I like the name 30 Doradus! Today's APOD is really neat! Going to be a great background! 8-) :D Happy 22 Hubble! :wink:
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Re: APOD: Star Formation in the Tarantula Nebula (2012 May 1

Postby Lordcat Darkstar » Wed May 16, 2012 1:02 pm

Very nice apod today. Is the orange sphere sitting lower left of center a supernova remnant?
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Re: APOD: Star Formation in the Tarantula Nebula (2012 May 1

Postby growlands » Wed May 16, 2012 1:56 pm

Curious about the term "most violent" when describing an astronomical area. Sounds like something from the History Channel.

I would think that there might be star forming regions near a black hole, which might qualify as "even greater most violent".
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Re: APOD: Star Formation in the Tarantula Nebula (2012 May 1

Postby Chris Peterson » Wed May 16, 2012 2:13 pm

growlands wrote:Curious about the term "most violent" when describing an astronomical area. Sounds like something from the History Channel.

I would think that there might be star forming regions near a black hole, which might qualify as "even greater most violent".

It is the most violent known star forming region.

I don't think there are any star forming regions associated with black holes. An ordinary stellar mass black hole isn't particularly violent, and would have little impact on its surrounds. Supermassive black holes, if anything, probably prevent star forming regions from developing anywhere near them.
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Re: APOD: Star Formation in the Tarantula Nebula (2012 May 1

Postby FloridaMike » Wed May 16, 2012 4:35 pm

calclulating the angular area covered by this image (650 ly @ 170,000 ly) results in just over 13 arc minutes of coverage. it is amazing that Hubble can resolve such detail in this tiny amount of space.
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Re: APOD: Star Formation in the Tarantula Nebula (2012 May 1

Postby Chris Peterson » Wed May 16, 2012 5:11 pm

FloridaMike wrote:calclulating the angular area covered by this image (650 ly @ 170,000 ly) results in just over 13 arc minutes of coverage. it is amazing that Hubble can resolve such detail in this tiny amount of space.

Not really. The HST has a 2.4 meter mirror, which means its optical resolution is about 0.05 arcseconds. That means it can usefully cover a 13 arcmin square (nearly 1/4 degree... HUGE) with a quarter billion pixels (243 megapixels). At a sampling size of 0.04 arcsec/pixel, the WFC3 instrument used to collect this image (and which has a FOV of only 2.7 arcmin) is optimized for the optical resolution of the objective.
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Re: APOD: Star Formation in the Tarantula Nebula (2012 May 1

Postby Ann » Wed May 16, 2012 6:07 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
growlands wrote:Curious about the term "most violent" when describing an astronomical area. Sounds like something from the History Channel.

I would think that there might be star forming regions near a black hole, which might qualify as "even greater most violent".

It is the most violent known star forming region.

I don't think there are any star forming regions associated with black holes. An ordinary stellar mass black hole isn't particularly violent, and would have little impact on its surrounds. Supermassive black holes, if anything, probably prevent star forming regions from developing anywhere near them.


But there are certainly galaxies which show a lot of star formation near their centers. Apart from NGC 4314, seen in a Hubble image here, see Adam Block's image of M100, or check out this page devoted to pictures of galaxy NGC 1097, which has a bright central starburst.

My impression is that black holes of a certain mass may possibly enhance a central starburst. But you are certainly correct, Chris, that a supermassive black hole will quench star formation.

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Last edited by Ann on Wed May 16, 2012 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: APOD: Star Formation in the Tarantula Nebula (2012 May 1

Postby rstevenson » Wed May 16, 2012 6:15 pm

Actually, in today's thread ESO: A Deeper Look at Centaurus A (NGC 5128), they say there is indeed star formation associated with the central supermassive black hole, or at least the jets coming out of its environs. Of course, that star formation is a long way away from it, about 30,000 ly and again at about 65,000 ly away. That's probably a safe distance. :shock:

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Re: APOD: Star Formation in the Tarantula Nebula (2012 May 1

Postby saturno2 » Wed May 16, 2012 7:09 pm

R 136 contains many stars : most massive, hottest and brightest.
It´s a very interesting region for study over the star forming.
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Re: APOD: Star Formation in the Tarantula Nebula (2012 May 1

Postby Moonlady » Thu May 17, 2012 1:42 am

What a nebula, thanks to Hubble!

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Re: APOD: Star Formation in the Tarantula Nebula (2012 May 1

Postby Ann » Thu May 17, 2012 1:06 pm

One more thing here. Check out viewtopic.php?f=31&t=28507, where you can read the article "JPL: Overfed Black Holes Shut Down Galactic Star-Making". Note that it appears to be the overfed black holes that shut down star formation, not black holes put on a reasonable diet.

The article said:

The researchers compared their infrared readings with X-rays streaming from the active central black holes in the survey's galaxies, measured by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. At lower intensities, the black holes' brightness and star formation increased in sync.


And while 30 Dorados is the brightest star formation region in the Local Group, it is of course not the largest or brightest site of star formation in the universe.

http://arxiv.org/pdf/1205.3704.pdf wrote:

Besides, for NGC 3310 we observed the conspicuous Jumbo region. The name of this region, Jumbo, comes from the fact that it is 10 times more luminous than 30 Dor


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Re: APOD: Star Formation in the Tarantula Nebula (2012 May 1

Postby DavidLeodis » Thu May 17, 2012 8:39 pm

From the explanation I thought R136 would be the bright compact group of stars in the top left quadrant of the image. However, from information that I found through the "observations" link I found that group is Hodge 301 and that R136 is actually the less compact looking group in the dark tree-like shaped area in the lower left quadrant. I think it would have helped if this APOD (and often others) had an annotated version.
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Re: APOD: Star Formation in the Tarantula Nebula (2012 May 1

Postby bystander » Thu May 17, 2012 8:45 pm

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