The largest and brightest emission nebula in our neighbor galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud.
Approximately 160,000 light years distant … The heart of the Tarantula is illuminated by a compact cluster of giant and supergiant hot young stars (RMC 136) embedded inside it's core. One star (R136a1) within this cluster is estimated to be 8.7 million times brighter than the sun. If our sun was replaced with R136a1, it would outshine it by as much as the sun now outshines the moon. In February 1987, on the outskirts of the nebula, the closest supernova since the invention of the telescope (1987A) occurred and was clearly visible to the naked eye. This is a place where ram pressure is violently stripping away the interstellar gases … An exciting but unfriendly star nursery.
Imaged in the pre-dawn 24 October 12. Canon 7D prime focussed through Celestron CPC 9.25. Stacked @ ISO 1600 for 20 seconds