NGC 3576: A giant region of star formation about 9,000 light years from Earth.
Caption: Chandra's image of NGC 3576 (lower-energy X-rays in red, higher-energy X-rays in blue) reveals a cluster of point-like X-ray sources, some of which are massive young stars that are shredding the gas cloud from which they formed. Because NGC 3576 is very dense, many of the young, massive stars visible in the Chandra image have previously been hidden from view. A cluster of stars is visible in infrared observations, but not enough young, massive stars have been identified to explain the brightness of the nebula. Regions of diffuse X-ray emission are likely caused by hot winds flowing away from the most massive stars.
Scale: Image is 14 arcmin.
Chandra X-ray Observatory ACIS Image