The NGC 2014 (Henize 55) star forming region in the LMC
AAO image reference UKS 28.    « Previous || Next »

Henize 55, NGC 2014
Top left is NE. Image width is about 21 arc min
Image and text © 1989-2010, Australian Astronomical Observatory. Photograph from UK Schmidt plates by David Malin.

The nearby Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is a very active star-forming galaxy. The most massive region of star formation is around 30 Doradus (the Tarantula nebula) which can be seen with the unaided eye, but hundreds of lesser examples are visible with a telescope. This picture shows one of the more intriguing, NGC 2014 (Henize 55). It contains cluster of hot, young stars, almost hidden in the brightest part of the nebula. The energetic ultraviolet light from these stars is absorbed by hydrogen and produces the distinctive red glow from an enormous distance around the cluster.

As well as radiating strongly in ultraviolet light (a result of their high temperature) massive young stars also produce vigorous stellar winds. Eventually they will disperse the hydrogen around them, evacuating a bubble-like nebula. To the left of the main cluster a single star has begun this process, creating a strange hollow shape.

This picture was made photographically from three glass plates taken with the UK Schmidt telescope. These plates cover the whole LMC and many images of individual objects can be made from them. In contrast, modern CCD detectors image only a small part of the sky, but when used on a big telescope like the AAT they show much more detail. An AAT CCD picture of NGC 2014 is here.

Related images
UKS 14.      The Large Magellanic Cloud
UKS 14a.    The eastern end of the Large Magellanic Cloud
UKS 16.      Star clouds north of the Large Magellanic Cloud
UKS 27.      The NGC 1929-1937 (Henize 44) nebula in the LMC
AAT-CCD16. NGC 2014, Henize 55 in the Large Magellanic Cloud
Constellation of Dorado (external site)

For details of object position and photographic exposure, search technical table by UKS reference number.

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Updated by David Malin, 2010, July 25