Astronomy Picture of the Day: 01/18/14 – Dancing Squid
This is NGC 1760 (also known as N11 or the Dancing Squid nebula), one of the most massive, active star-forming regions located in our local corner of the universe. More specifically, this region belongs to the northern part of a neighboring dwarf-galaxy of the Milky Way; a little place you may know of as the Large Magellanic Cloud.
The intricate network of interlinking cosmic ‘bubbles’ extend about 1,000 light-years across, which overall make them the second largest star forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud (30 Doradus – another star-forming region also located in the LMC – is the largest). In the center lies an open cluster of about 50 very massive, metal-poor blue stars that have emitted so much radiation over the course of their short lives, they have eroded a hole in the gases embedded in the stellar nursery. This cluster is formally known as LH9, yet most call them NGC 1760.
Sources & Further Reading: http://www.fromquarkstoquasars.com/apod-dancing-squid/
Image Credit: Don Goldman