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ESO's VISTA captures spectacular view of galaxies

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The Magellanic Cloud survey done by ESO's VISTA. Photo: ESO.

PARIS (BNS): ESO’s VISTA telescope has found a spectacular 30 Doradus star-forming region of the Tarantula Nebula, and its neighbouring galaxies, the Large Magellanic Cloud, ESO said.

Astronomers are currently scanning the skies under ESO’s VISTA Magellanic Cloud survey.

"This view is of one of the most important regions of star formation in the local Universe — the spectacular 30 Doradus star-forming region, also called the Tarantula Nebula. At its core is a large cluster of stars called RMC 136, in which some of the most massive stars known are located," Maria-Rosa Cioni (University of Hertfordshire, UK), leader of the survey team, said in an ESO (European Southern Observatory) news release.

VISTA is equipped with a huge camera that detects light in the near-infrared part of the spectrum and has a longer wavelength than visible light.

This makes it particularly useful for studying objects such as young stars that are still enshrouded in the gas and dust clouds from which they are formed. The telescope can also capture a large area of the sky in a single shot.

The project will scan a vast area — 184 square degrees of the sky (corresponding to almost one thousand times the apparent area of the full Moon) including our neighbouring galaxies the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds.

The end result will be a detailed study of the star formation history and three-dimensional geometry of the Magellanic system.

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Galaxy  Astronomy  ESO  
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