Star Cluster Westerlund 2 and Starforming Nebula Gum 29
This image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows a giant cluster of about 3,000 stars called Westerlund 2. The cluster resides inside a vibrant stellar breeding ground known as Gum 29, located 20,000 light-years away in the constellation Carina. The comparatively young, 2-million-year-old star cluster contains some of our galaxy's hottest, brightest, and most massive stars. The largest stars are unleashing a torrent of ultraviolet light and hurricane-force winds that etch away the enveloping hydrogen gas cloud. This creates a fantasy celestial landscape of pillars, ridges, and valleys.
The Hubble Space Telescope just passed the 25th anniversary of its launch on April 24, 1990 and continues to operate at the peak of its capabilities.
Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), A. Nota
(ESA/STScI), and the Westerlund 2 Science Team