The Tarantula

A Nebula in Dorado

NGC 2070, Caldwell 103

Image exposure:
75 minutes
Image size:
2.12 º x 1.41º
Image date:

Most of what you see in this image, including the Tarantula Nebula, belongs to another galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), which is a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way galaxy. It is located around 160,000 light years away.

The Tarantula Nebula is huge.


It would dwarf the famous Orion Nebula M42 if it were at the same distance. It is actually about 114 times further away than M42 but if the LMC was as close to Earth as M42, I am told that it would dominate the sky and cast shadows.

The Tarantula is illuminated by ionisation caused by the high intensity ultra-violet emissions from new stars formed inside the nebula and is one of the jewels of the Southern Sky, located in the constellation of Dorado:

There are a large number of NGC objects in the field of view.

◽ Skywatcher Esprit 120 Refractor telescope.
◽ With 0.77 reducer = 644 mm focal length @ f/5.4
◽ Skywatcher EQ6-R Pro mount.
◽ ZWO ASI 071 MC cooled imaging camera.
◽ Images © Roger Powell

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        1. I’ve added a 0.77 reducer, which provided me with a shorter focal length and wider field of view (about 2º wide), I suspect that is a contributing factor towards what what you see. 🙃


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