The telescope, wrought of tax dollars and scientific vision and that allowed this photograph to be taken, is a wonder in itself. But in the photo, to state the obvious, is evidence of wonder taken to a different order of magnitude. Click the image above to go to where we encountered this celestial beauty, in The Atlantic‘s ever more useful website:
This is a nebula we used to think was a star. Located in a neighboring galaxy called the Large Magellanic Cloud, astronomers long called this object 30 Doradus, and labeled it a star. It wasn’t until the mid-18th century that Nicholas Louis de Lacaille detected that it was, in fact, a nebula. We now sometimes call it the Tarantula Nebula.
There’s no color enhancement or significant doctoring in this image: Unlike many astronomical pictures, everything shown is in the visible light spectrum. The Hubble Space Telescope took the photograph.