The Large Magellanic Cloud appears larger than all other galaxies.
At 7° across, it’s the 4th most massive Local Group galaxy.
Only 165,000 light-years distant, it’s copiously forming stars.
This spectacular Hubble composition captures 520 light-years of its full 32,000 light-year extent.
Thousands of brilliant, massive stars shine throughout it.
The cyan-colored regions highlight superheated oxygen, with temperatures exceeding 50,000 K.
The dustiest background regions reflect blue starlight.
Others contain foreground material, blocking the light from stars inside.
The pink regions highlight where stellar radiation ionizes hydrogen atoms.
The matter-rich regions possess more stars due to recent and ongoing star-formation.
Below, a smaller, isolated star-forming region spans 25 light-years across.
An even smaller, dust-rich clump contains new, clearly identifiable stars.
Meanwhile, the adjacent blue nebula extends for over 100 light-years.
Light reflects off of ejected gas, powered by a solitary star 200,000 times the Sun’s brightness.
Hot, massive blue stars highlight young star clusters within the main nebula.
As radiation blows matter away, stars race to form within evaporating gas globules.
The knots in the ionized gas create a wispy, cliff-like boundary between gas-rich and gas-poor regions.
All told, the full-resolution panorama contains ~200 megapixels of Hubble data.
Mostly Mute Monday tells an astronomical story in images, visuals, and no more than 200 words. Talk less; smile more.