LHA 120-N 44 Superbubble
The N44 superbubble is a beautiful region of star formation near the center of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a bit north of the bar. The gas and dust within the center of the nebula have been blown away by young stellar winds to form a dark void filled with stars.
In this visible and near-infrared view, brown and reddish clouds of dust contrast against white and blue areas of glowing gas and reflection. If you look closely, many reddish background galaxies are visible through the nebula. Pinpricks of reddened stars are visible within the clouds of dust, but this view with red at 814 nm barely reaches below the dusty surface. Even more stars and young stellar objects are visible in this image of one of the dustier areas that includes some near-infrared data from 1600 nm.
I don't know if the people who take these observations ever look at my work or read these descriptions, but I just have to say they did an incredible job with this... there were several moments I had to pause and wipe away tears just looking at it.
A Gigapan is available here: www.gigapan.com/gigapans/205220
Data from Proposal 14689 were used to create this image.
Red: WFC3/UVIS F814W
Blue: WFC3/UVIS F555W
North is NOT up. It is 19.6° counter-clockwise from up.