From the 2Mass Image Gallery
This atlas image mosaic is of the star-forming region RCW 108. The infrared-bright nebula at the center of the region is a cluster of recently-formed stars still deeply embedded within their natal molecular cloud, only 1.5¡ below the Galactic Plane. Large amounts of dust obscuration are evident throughout the image around the cluster, with at least 20 visual magnitudes of extinction toward the cluster itself. A number of other young embedded sources are seen within the cloud around the cluster. The molecular and dust cloud, at a distance of ~1.3 kpc (4238 light years), is likely part of the much larger Ara OB stellar association complex. It is possible that this young region was triggered into formation by the energy input into the interstellar medium by the hot winds from the young stars in the older nearby Ara OB1 association.
This image is a three-band composite constructed from 2MASS Atlas Images. They are infrared images and therefore must be mapped into false colors: J light (1.2 µm) into blue, H light (1.6 µm) in green, and Ks light (2.2 µm) into red. The Atlas Images are produced in the 2MASS Production Processing System. North is up and east is to the left.
The text is based on accompanying on-line materials.
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Last Modified On: Monday, December 18, 2000