Glowing Hodge 301

Glowing Hodge 301 Astronomy Aviation & Space Exploration STEM Visual Arts

This amazing image—click on it for an even-better view—depicts evidence of star birth and star death in the same photo.  The Hubble Space Telescope took this image.  At the lower right, we see stars within Hodge 301.

What we actually see here is activity taking place in the Tarantula Nebula.  What is that activity? NASA helps us to understand more about this "resident" of the Tarantula Nebula:

The star cluster at lower right, cataloged as Hodge 301, is a denizen of the Tarantula Nebula. An evocative nebula in the southern sky, the sprawling cosmic Tarantula is an energetic star-forming region some 168,000 light-years distant in our neighboring galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud.

The stars within Hodge 301 formed together tens of millions of years ago and as the massive ones quickly exhaust their nuclear fuel they explode. In fact, the red giant stars of Hodge 301 are rapidly approaching this violent final phase of stellar evolution - known as a supernova.

These supernova blasts send material and shock waves back into the nebular gas to create the Tarantula's glowing filaments also visible in this Hubble Space Telescope Heritage image. But these spectacular stellar death explosions signal star birth as well, as the blast waves condense gas and dust to ultimately form the next generation of stars inside the Tarantula Nebula.

Click on the image for a better view.

Media Credits

Image, described above, by the Hubble Heritage Team (AURA / STScI / NASA.




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"Glowing Hodge 301" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Nov 18, 2019.
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