The Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy to our own Milky Way Galaxy, is home to one of the largest and most intense regions of star formation known to exist anywhere in our galactic neighborhood — the Tarantula Nebula. This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows both the spindly, spidery filaments of gas that inspired the region’s name, and the intriguing structure of stacked ‘bubbles’ that forms the so-called Honeycomb Nebula.
This planetary nebula is called PK 329-02.2 and is located in the constellation of Norma in the southern sky. It is also sometimes referred to as Menzel 2, or Mz 2, named after the astronomer Donald Menzel who discovered the nebula in 1922. When stars that are around the mass of the Sun reach their final stages of life, they shed their outer layers into space, which appear as glowing clouds of gas called planetary nebulae.
Like firecrackers lighting up the sky on New Year's Eve, the majestic spiral arms of NGC 5559 are alight with new stars being born. NGC 5559 is a spiral galaxy, with spiral arms filled with gas and dust sweeping out around .