These Bubbles of Star Birth in the Milky Way's Galactic Neighbor Look Spectacular! | 2/6/2019 | Staff
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A beautiful image of the Milky Way's closest galactic neighbor provides insight into how stars form. Deep inside a bubble of star birth, the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT) has captured an image of a jet of material emitted by a massive young star, the first time such a jet has been observed in visible light outside of the Milky Way.

Only about 160,000 light-years away from Earth, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is a massive dwarf galaxy making its first orbit around the our larger galaxy. As it falls into the Milky Way edge-on, the LMC's spiral arm faces our own galaxy, giving astronomers the chance to probe star-forming regions. This image reveals LHA 120-N 180B (N180 B for short), a cloud of charged hydrogen that serves as a stellar nursery. Formed from dust and gas, the newborn stars give off light that ionizes the surrounding gas, stripping away its electrons, according to a statement from the observatory. The process has sculpted N180 B into a massive bubble surrounded by four smaller bubbles.

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These bubbles of beautiful gas in the nearby Large Magellanic Cloud are nurseries for newborn stars.

VLT's Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) instrument has spotted a jet of material spewing from a giant young star that has about 12 times the mass of the sun and sits tucked deep within the glowing cloud. Known as Herbig-Haro 1717, or HH 1177, the jet...
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