Cloaked in red

This stunning new Hubble image shows a small part of the Large Magellanic Cloud, one of the closest galaxies to our own. This collection of small baby stars, most weighing less than the Sun, form a young stellar cluster known as LH63. This cluster is still half-embedded in the cloud from which it was born, in a bright star-forming region known as the emission nebula LHA 120-N 51, or N51. This is just one of the hundreds of star-forming regions filled with young stars spread throughout the Large Magellanic Cloud.

The burning red intensity of the nebulae at the bottom of the picture illuminates wisps of gas and dark dust, each spanning many light-years. Moving up and across, bright stars become visible as sparse specks of light, giving the impression of pin-pricks in a cosmic cloak.

This patch of sky was the subject of observation by Hubble's WFPC2 camera. Looking for and at low-mass stars can help us to understand how stars behave when they are in the early stages of formation, and can give us an idea of how the Sun might have looked billions of years ago.

A version of this image was submitted to the Hubble's Hidden Treasures image processing competition by contestant Luca Limatola.

Credit:

NASA, ESA, and D. Gouliermis (University of Heidelberg)
Acknowledgement: Luca Limatola

About the Image

Id:potw1408a
Type:Observation
Release date:24 February 2014, 10:00
Size:1502 x 739 px

About the Object

Name:Large Magellanic Cloud, LH63, LHA 120-N 51
Type:• Local Universe : Star : Grouping : Cluster : Open
• Local Universe : Nebula : Type : Star Formation
• Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Irregular
• X - Stars Images/Videos
• X - Galaxies Images/Videos
Distance:150000 light years

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
B
450 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
V
555 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
H-alpha
656 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Infrared
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2

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