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Large Magellanic Cloud Mosaic in Hydrogen Alpha Light by John Gleason

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Taken by
John Gleason John   Gleason
Explore score
1
Size
0.08 Gigapixels
Views
872
Date added
Oct 27, 2013
Date taken
 
Categories
astrophotography, environmental, experimental, fine art, long exposure, nature, night
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Description

An alluring sight in dark southern skies, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is seen here through a narrow filter that transmits only the red light of hydrogen atoms. Ionized by energetic starlight, a hydrogen atom emits the characteristic red H-alpha light as its single electron is recaptured and transitions to lower energy states. As a result, this image of the LMC seems covered with shell-shaped clouds of hydrogen gas surrounding massive, young stars. Sculpted by the strong stellar winds and ultraviolet radiation, the glowing hydrogen clouds are known as H II (ionized hydrogen) regions. This high resolution mosaic view was recorded in 9 segments, each with 880 minutes of exposure time. Itself composed of many overlapping shells, the Tarantula Nebula, is the large star forming region near center right. A satellite of our Milky Way Galaxy, the LMC is about 15,000 light-years across and lies a mere 180,000 light-years away in the constellation Dorado.

Source: APOD, May 18, 2006


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