NGC 2035, also known as the Dragon’s Head Nebula, is located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, the largest of the Milky Way’s satellite galaxies. The appropriately named Dragon’s Head Nebula, visible to right of center, is a stellar nursery where hot new stars are forming in vast clouds of gas and dust, emitting radiation that is sculpting their surroundings. In spectacular counterpoint, filaments left over from a star that exploded in a supernova blast at the end of its life are visible to the left. Discovered by James Dunlop in 1826, NGC 2035 was imaged here by the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope.
Using data from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and other facilities, an international team has found the first gamma-ray binary in another galaxy and the most luminous one ever seen. The dual-star system, dubbed LMC P3, contains a massive star and a crushed stellar core that interact to produce a cyclic flood of gamma rays.
In this image from ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), light from blazing blue stars energises the gas left over from the stars’ recent formation. The result is a strikingly colourful emission nebula, called LHA 120-N55, in which the stars are adorned with a mantle of glowing gas. LHA 120-N55 lies within the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way.