via: Astro Don

Located in the Large Magellanic Cloud — one of the neighboring satellites of the Milky Way galaxy — is this celestial area, formally known as N44C

The nebula, which is an emission nebula by designation, is powered by a young, energetic central star that is not hot enough to generate some of the colorful filaments seen here. It might even be  TOO hot, thus astronomers have put forth various explanations for this. One of which, suggests that the central star is also home to a yet-to-be-observed companion (perhaps a neutron star, the dense remnant of a massive star) that contributes to the periodic barrage of x-rays seen emitted from the nebula. Over the course of time, these x-rays disappear almost entirely before reappearing, perhaps "switching back on" when the companion dwells too close to the surrounding disk of interstellar gas.

N44C is also just as big as it is beautiful. Overall, it stretches over an expanse of space that would take 125 years to cross if you were traveling at light-speed.

See a larger image here.


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