A review of the properties of the Tarantula Nebula (30 Doradus) in the Large Magellanic Cloud is presented, primarily from the perspective of its massive star content. The proximity of the Tarantula and its accessibility to X-ray through radio observations permit it to serve as a Rosetta Stone amongst extragalactic supergiant HII regions since one can consider both its integrated characteristics and the individual properties of individual massive stars. Recent surveys of its high mass stellar content, notably the VLT FLAMES Tarantula Survey (VFTS), are reviewed, together with VLT/MUSE observations of the central ionizing region NGC 2070 and HST/STIS spectroscopy of the young dense cluster R136, provide a near complete Hertzsprung-Russell diagram of the region, and cumulative ionizing output. Several high mass binaries are highlighted, some of which have been identified from a recent X-ray survey. Brief comparisons with the stellar content of giant HII regions in the Milky Way (NGC 3372) and Small Magellanic Cloud (NGC 346) are also made, together with Green Pea galaxies and star forming knots in high-z galaxies. Finally, the prospect of studying massive stars in metal poor galaxies is evaluated.
- Pub Date:
- November 2019
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- 23 pages, 12 figures, review paper accepted for "Luminous Stars in Nearby Galaxies" special issue of Galaxies (guest editor Roberta Humphreys)