Once again, it's time to bask in the stunning wonder of our universe. This is the Tarantula Nebula, and my most recent excuse to bask in endless, encompassing joy.
Our nearest galactic neighbor is the Large Magellanic Cloud. But despite its close proximity — about 160,000 light-years — astronomers are still finding new features to explore, including this stunning supernova remnant that appears to be sitting right beside a stellar nursery.
Eons ago, two of our satellite galaxies became locked in a cosmic game of tug-of-war. Their fierce gravitational interactions ripped out a huge ribbon of hot, potentially star-forming gas that now surrounds much of our own galaxy's southern hemisphere, as this amazing new Hubble image shows.
These two gas clouds may reside side-by-side within the Large Magellanic Cloud, but as their distinctive coloring suggests, they're an interstellar odd couple.
We know that the Milky Way is surrounded by an array of satellite galaxies, the largest of which is the rather aptly named Large Magellanic Cloud. But figuring out exactly how far away our cosmic neighbor is has proved fiendishly difficult.
This doesn't look much like a galaxy, but it is in fact the Large Magellanic Cloud, one of the biggest satellite galaxies of our Milky Way. This awesome infrared image reveals the real look of this galaxy like never before.
In a nearby galaxy, huge stars 100 times bigger than the Sun and a million times brighter live out their lonely existences with no obvious explanation for how they came to be. Now we know: they're running away from home.