Hubble Spots Fireworks in Westerlund 2

This image shows a dense cluster of stars just offset to the right from center. The stars in the cluster are predominantly white tinted with red. Across the entire image are additional stars with both red-tinted and blue-tinted stars. There is a pillowy nebula taking up the left side and bottom of the image. Within the nebula, several pillars of dark, dense gas are being shaped by the energetic light and strong stellar winds from the brilliant cluster of thousands of stars.
April 23, 2015
CreditNASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), A. Nota (ESA/STScI), and the Westerlund 2 Science Team
Historical DateApril 23, 2015
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A brilliant tapestry of young stars flaring to life resembles a glittering fireworks display in this Hubble Space Telescope image. This is a giant cluster of about 3,000 stars called Westerlund 2 that resides in a raucous stellar breeding ground known as Gum 29, located 20,000 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Carina.