Resolving Stars in 30 Doradus

The Melnick 34 region viewed by:

The HST's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2
The original Wide Field Planetary Camera
The European Southern Observatory
The Human Eye

Well over one hundred stars are visible in this Hubble Telescope, WFPC2 view taken in 1995. The resolution is sufficent for quantitative measurements of the brightness of even the fainter stars to be made.

Note: The WFPC2 was substituted for the HST's origingal WFPC during the first servicing mission.

as seen by HST's WFPC2
The Melnick 34 field above is only a third of a minute across - one hundredth the diameter of the moon. (The arrow indicates a similar sized region on the Moon). The giant star-forming region, 30 Doradus is found in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, 160,000 light years from us. One of the stars found there is Melnick 34, a brilliant Wolf-Rayet star, thousands of times more luminous than the Sun. The image above shows a region of sky round Melnick 34. Over one hundred stars of similar luminosity to the Sun are found in the same field.

Source: STScI-PR94-04 October 9,1995, Comparison of Ground-Based observations of a star with HST images