This zoom into star-forming region NGC 3603 shows a central cluster of young, hot stars. The giant nebula NGC 3603 is a prominent star-forming region in the Carina spiral arm of our galaxy, about 20,000 light-years away. It is the largest nebula seen in visible light in the Milky Way. Within its core lies one of the most massive young star clusters in the Milky Way Galaxy. The cluster is surrounded by clouds of interstellar gas and dust — the raw material for new star formation. Powerful ultraviolet radiation and fast winds from the bluest and hottest stars have blown an enormous cavity in the gas and dust enveloping the cluster.
Publication: July 6, 2010