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The sky around the star formation region RCW 106


In this huge image of part of the southern constellation of Norma (The Carpenter’s Square) wisps of crimson gas are illuminated by rare, massive stars that have only recently ignited and are still buried deep in thick dust clouds. These scorching-hot, very young stars are only fleeting characters on the cosmic stage and their origins remain mysterious. The vast nebula where these giants were born, known as RCW 106, is captured here in fine detail by ESO’s VLT Survey Telescope (VST), at the Paranal Observatory in Chile. The brightest part appears just above the centre of the image.

Many other interesting objects are also captured in this wide-field image. For example the filaments to the right of the image are the remnants of an ancient supernova (SNR G332.4-00.4, also known as RCW 103), and the glowing red filaments at the lower left surround an unusual and very hot star (RCW 104, surrounding the Wolf–Rayet starWR 75). Patches of dark obscuring dust are also visible across the entire cosmic landscape.


Credit:
ESO

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