30 Doradus (the Tarantula Nebula) is a very bright and active star-forming region outside of the Milky Way galaxy, at 160,000 light-years away. “30 Dor” is home to the central star cluster NGC 2070, including the most active region, R136, which appears in the central-right area of the image. R136 is a few million years old and contains many thousands of young stars, including several of the largest known. The visible (Hubble) bright blue stars shine out of the cleared cavity that is excavated by stellar winds. The redder stars are still partially embedded in the cloud material, seen in shadow except where illuminated by the cavity stars. In the infrared (Hubble) view the embedded stars shine more clearly through the intervening cloud material.
NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI);
Images: NASA, ESA, F. Paresce (INAF-IASF, Bologna, Italy), R. O'Connell (University of Virginia, Charlottesville), and the Wide Field Camera 3 Science Oversight Committee
Publication: June 11, 2018