180,000 light-years

This image of the Tarantula Nebula and the area around it was taken with a 2.2-metre optical telescope in La Silla, Chile. The spider-web look gives the nebula its name, which is seen in the upper-centre of the image. Slightly to the lower-right, a web of filaments harbours the famous supernova SN 1987A. The Tarantula Nebula is located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small galaxy only about 180 000 light-years from the Milky Way.

Credit: European Southern Observatory.