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Thursday, December 10, 2020

Featured Deep-Sky Object - The Tarantula Nebula

In this post, we feature a deep-sky target that is very popular to astrophotographers in the southern hemisphere, NGC 2070, the Tarantula Nebula.

NGC 2070 (also known as Caldwell 103) is a large open cluster and candidate super star cluster forming the heart of the bright region in the centre-south-east of the Large Magellanic Cloud. It is at the center of the Tarantula Nebula and produces most of the energy that makes the latter's gas and dust visible. Its central condensation is the star cluster R136, one of the most energetic star clusters known. Among its stars are many of great dimension, including the second most massive star known, R136a1.

NGC 2070 - The Tarantula Nebula located in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Image data processed by Starbase subscriber Daniel Nobre using image data provided by Franck Jobard on Insight Observatory's 12.5" f/9 Ritchey Chretien remote telescope, ATEO-3.
NGC 2070 - The Tarantula Nebula located in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Image data processed by Starbase subscriber Daniel Nobre using image data provided by Franck Jobard on Insight Observatory's 12.5" f/9 Ritchey Chretien remote telescope, ATEO-3.

With an estimated diameter of 652 light-years, the Tarantula Nebula is decisively the largest star-forming region in our local group of galaxies. Even at a distance of 180,000 light-years, observers in the Southern Hemisphere can see it with the naked eye (though, it’ll look more like a small smudge). The Tarantula Nebula is so bright, was it as close to us as the Orion Nebula (1,344 light-years away), it would cast shadows on Earth and cover an area of sky several times the size of the full Moon.

Sources: Wikipedia and Sky and Telescope

Images of NGC 2070, the Tarantula Nebula processed by Starbase subscribers Ruben Barbosa using Ha, OIII, and RGB (left) and Utkarsh Mishra using only Ha (right).
Images of NGC 2070, the Tarantula Nebula processed by Starbase subscribers Ruben Barbosa using Ha, OIII, and RGB (left) and Utkarsh Mishra using only Ha (right).

NGC 2070 image sets are available on Insight Observatory's image set repository, Starbase. There are currently over 26 hours of image data acquired on the 12.5" f/9 Ritchey Chretien remote telescope (ATEO-3) hosted at Deep Sky Chile located in the dark skies of the Rio Hurtado Valley in Chile. These image sets in include image data with Ha 6nm, OIII, and Red, Green, and Blue filters.

Insight Observatory's 12.5" f/9 Ritchey Chretien affiliate remote telescope, ATEO-3 hosted at Deep Sky Chile in the dark skies of the Rio Hurtado Valley, Chile.
Insight Observatory's 12.5" f/9 Ritchey Chretien affiliate remote telescope, ATEO-3 hosted at Deep Sky Chile in the dark skies of the Rio Hurtado Valley, Chile.

NGC 2070 - The Tarantula Nebula Starbase Image Sets Include:
  • Ha 6nm - 8 Hours and 45 Minutes
  • OIII - 9 Hours
  • RGB - 8 Hours and 35 Minutes
26 hours and 20 minutes of image data for ONLY $78.75 USD Standard and $63.00 USD Educational.

**Each filtered image set is sold separately and include raw, calibration, and master FITS files.


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