Video News Release 21: A Dramatic Stellar Crib, Zooming in on SN1987A (eso0650a)

ESO Releases 256 Million Pixel Image of Immense Stellar Factory

A stunning new picture of the cosmic spider, the Tarantula Nebula and its surroundings, finally does justice to this vast and intricately sculpted web of stars and gas. The newly released image, made with ESO's Wide Field Imager on the 2.2-m ESO/MPG Telescope at La Silla in Chile, covers one square degree on the sky: about four times the area of the full Moon.

Known as the Tarantula Nebula because of its spidery appearance, the 30 Doradus complex is a monstrous stellar factory. It is the largest emission nebula in the sky, and can be seen deep in the southern sky at a distance of about 170 000 light-years, in the constellation Dorado (the Dolphin-fish). It is part of one of the Milky Way's neighbouring galaxies, the Large Magellanic Cloud.

This video starts with a wide, photographic view of the Large Magellanic Cloud with the Tarantula Nebula hanging above, then fades into an image taken with the 1-metre ESO Schmidt telescope and finally into the very detailed new WFI mosaic. After the zoom-in sequence, the video pans over the nebula and finishes on a curious honey-comb structure close to the site of the supernova SN 1987A. 

Read more about it on eso0650.

This Video News Release is targeted especially at broadcasters for further editing. In order to keep the audio tracks editable, different sound information has been recorded on two separate tracks at optimal volumes as is common standard in professional post production. This video is not meant for on screen viewing — on ESOcasts are better suited for that.

Credit:

ESO

About the Video

Id:eso0650a
Release date:21 December 2006
Related releases:eso0650
Duration:01m 20s

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