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New Stars Light Up Nebula

he nebula NGC 3603, which is more than 20,000 light-years from Earth, is the largest ionized hydrogen region in the Milky Way Galaxy. The nebula’s gas is ionized by intense ultraviolet radiation from a huge cluster of newly formed hot, massive stars at its core. This image mosaic by E. Kopan (Caltech IPAC) was constructed from digital photographs taken by the 2MASS sky survey (see story, p. 14) in three wavelengths of infrared light. This 1.1 MB image and many others can be viewed at www.ipac.caltech.edu/2mass/gallery.
Nebula NGC 3603
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