Tucked away in a star forming region of the Large Magellanic Cloud (most famously known as 30 Doradus or the Tarantula nebula), a runaway star can be seen. This star is running amok on the outskirts of the interstellar medium, veering off into space at more than 400,000 kilometers an hour (effectively fast enough to make a round-trip to the moon in just two hours' time!)

 

The star in question, 30 Dor #016 (memorable, isn't it?), is about 9 times more massive than our sun, and it resides in the general vicinity of several more heavyweight stars that are members of R136 (a large star cluster). A few of the stars that are located in the center of the cluster have a mass that is more than 100 solar masses. Some speculate that #016 may have traveled more than 375 light-years from its original home to its current location within the Tarantula nebula. Given how far it has already traveled, we begin to understand how completely massive this region is (about 800 light-years in diameter)

 

The Tarantula nebula, 30 Dor #016 and R136 can be found more than 170,000 light-years from Earth in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a dwarf galaxy of the Milky Way. The green areas are representative of oxygen atoms. While hydrogen appears red and the blue is indicative of hot stars, which pollute the region with ultraviolet radiation, causing the nebula to glow.


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