RCW 108

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Chandra X-ray
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RCW 108: A region of active star formation about 4,000 light years from Earth.
(Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/S.Wolk et al; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Caption: In Chandra’s X-ray image (blue) of RCW 108, over 400 sources of X-ray light are seen. Many of these X-ray sources are young stars undergoing massive flaring just as our Sun did billions of years ago. The infrared Spitzer image (red and orange) shows the clouds of dust and gas of this region. The bright knot just to the left of center is where a cluster of young stars is hidden behind a dense cloud of molecular hydrogen. Intense radiation from massive stars in another nearby cluster, just out of view to the left of this image, is destroying the cloud that contains this cluster. Ultimately, this will trigger a new generation of stars to form in RCW 108.

Scale: Image is 20 arcmin across.

Chandra X-ray Observatory ACIS Image

CXC operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory