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The Tarantula Nebula has more than 1,000 light years of extension, a giant emission nebula in our neighboring galaxy the Great Magellanic Cloud. Within this cosmic arachnid is a young cluster of giant stars, cataloged as R136, whose intense radiation and strong winds have helped energize the nebular brightness and the shape of spider filaments.
In this impressive mosaic of photographs taken with the Wide-Field Imager camera of the ESO 2.2-meter telescope at the La Silla Observatory (Chile), you can also see other clusters of young stars in the nebula's range of action. Notable also among the inhabitants of the Tarantula area are several dark clouds invading the outer limits, as well as the dense cluster of stars NGC 2100 on the left edge of the image.
Small, but expanding the remnant of supernova 1987a, the closest supernova in modern history, is next to the lower right corner of the image. This interesting mosaic covers an area of the sky the size of the full moon in the Golden Southern constellation.
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