Star-Forming Region LH 95 in the Large Magellanic Cloud

hs-2006-55-a-xlarge_webImage credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) –ESA Hubble Collaboration

Swirls of gas and dust reside in this ethereal-looking region of star formation imaged by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. This majestic view, located in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), reveals a region where low-mass, infant stars and their much more massive stellar neighbors reside. A shroud of blue haze gently lingers amid the stars.

Known as LH 95, this is just one of the hundreds of star-forming systems, called associations, located in the LMC some 160,000 light-years distant. Earlier ground-based observations of such systems had only allowed astronomers to study the bright blue giant stars present in these regions. With Hubble’s resolution, the low-mass stars can now be analyzed, which will allow for a more accurate calculation of their ages and masses.

This detailed view of the star-forming association LH 95 was taken with Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys and provides an extraordinarily rich sample of newly formed low-mass stars. The LMC is a galaxy with relatively small amounts of elements heavier than hydrogen, giving astronomers an insight into star formation in environments different than our Milky Way.

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