Magellanic Cloud Survey view of the Tarantula Nebula | The leader of the survey team, Maria-Rosa Cioni (University of Hertfordshire, UK) explains: "This view is of one of the most important regions of star formation in the local Universe, the spectacular 30 Doradus star-forming region, also called the Tarantula Nebula. At its core is a large cluster of stars called RMC 136, in which some of the most massive stars known are located."
Baby Star Emerges From Hot Cocoon A large hot molecular cloud around a very young star was discovered by ALMA. This hot cloud is about ten times larger than those found around typical solar-mass baby stars, which indicates that the star formation process has more diversity than ever thought.
"Dark markings of the sky”.. A new image from the APEX (Atacama Pathfinder Experiment) telescope in Chile shows a sinuous filament of cosmic dust more than ten light-years long. In it, newborn stars are hidden, and dense clouds of gas are on the verge of collapsing to form yet more stars. It is one of the regions of star formation closest to us. The cosmic dust grains are so cold that observations at wavelengths of around one millimetre, such as these made with the LABOCA camera on APEX
Hungry Giant! This galaxy has a rather eventful story to tell. Astronomers think that it is in the process of swallowing up two much smaller dwarf galaxies that strayed too close to it. It is likely that the encounter was the trigger for the starburst inside, bringing in fresh supplies of gas that are now fueling the burst of star formation. Typically, this kind of galaxy would present a rather smooth appearance on the sky and would consist mostly of old, reddish stars. A bit dull…