This composite image features NGC 1760 and NGC 1747, two distinct regions within the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), located approximately 160,000 light-years away in the constellation of Dorado. NGC 1760, also known as LHA 120-N 11 or simply N11, is a complex emission nebula spanning over 1,000 light-years. It is one of the most active star-forming regions in the nearby Universe and the second-largest in the LMC, surpassed only by the Tarantula Nebula
The nebula exhibits a ring-like structure composed of gas and dust, shaped by multiple generations of stars. The oldest ‘grandmother’ stars have carved a large super bubble, which led to the formation of a cluster of massive, bright blue-white ‘mother’ stars designated as NGC 1761. These stars, in turn, have given birth to new stars within dark globules. NGC 1761 is particularly noteworthy for its intense ultraviolet radiation, which has eroded a large hole in the surrounding nebular material, similar in structure to the more famous Rosette Nebula.
In contrast, NGC 1747 provides a different perspective on stellar evolution, serving as a complementary subject for understanding the diverse processes that govern star formation and life cycles.Studying these regions within the LMC has been crucial to astronomers for calibrating theoretical models of star formation and evolution. The LMC, despite being much smaller than the Milky Way, is an active star-forming galaxy, making it an invaluable laboratory for understanding stellar birth, development, and lifespan.
The creation of this image presented a set of unique challenges, primarily due to the wide dynamic range of this target. After experimenting with various colour blends, I settled on a combination of SHO and HOO to achieve the desired visual effects, with RGB stars layered on top. I also ended up blending the Ha and the luminance extracted from the SHO combination to preserve the intricate details and nuanced colour variations in the core of NGC 1760, especially to showcase the structural contribution on the Sii emission. The image represents a deep integration, with approximately 42 hours of total exposure time, enabling the capture of faint details surrounding both NGC 1760 and NGC 1747.