Astronomers caught stunning images of star regions that are located in the Milky Way. The regions are located in the Carina-Sagittarius spiral arm of our galaxy, which contains mainly gas and dust.
The images were taken with a 2.2-meter telescope at the European Southern Observatory's La Silla Observatory in Chile. The dazzling star formations sparkle among a sea of red clouds of gas.
NGC 3603, the left side cluster of stars called HII regions, is full of hundreds young stars. "NGC 3603 is a very bright star cluster and is famed for having the highest concentration of massive stars that have been discovered in our galaxy so far," ESO officials said in a statement.
At the center of this cluster is a Wolf-Rayet multiple star system, which include stars that are at an advanced stage of stellar evolution, and start off with around 20 times the mass of the sun. Woft-Rayet stars loose large amounts of their matter from stellar winds. The star's material travels into space at several million kilometers per hour. NCG 3603 is located 20,000 light-years away.
"HII regions shine because of the interaction of ultraviolet radiation given off by the brilliant hot young stars with the hydrogen gas clouds," ESO officials say.
The right side of the mosaic image is nebula NGC 3576, which contains horn-shaped clouds of gas that formed from stellar wind from young stars. It is located closer to us at 9,000 light-years away. Two black clouds called "Bok globules" are above the nebula and are potential sites for new star formations.
Both of the star clusters are found in Carina, the southern constellation that is located below the brightest constellation, Centaurus. NGC 3603 and NCG 3576 appear in the image to shine with the same brightness, but the celestial objects are separated by approximately 10,000 light-years.
You don't need a high-tech telescope to see the stunning view of these stars. People in the Southern Hemisphere can see the stars using basic telescopes when looking to the southwestern part of the sky.