Nebula NGC 3576
Located 9000 light-years away, NGC 3576 is a gigantic region of glowing gas about 100 light-years across, where stars are currently forming. The intense radiation and winds from the massive stars are shredding the clouds from which they form, creating dramatic scenery. The black area in the right middle part of the image is dark because of the presence of very dense, opaque clouds of gas and dust.
The data used to make this colour-composite images were taken with ISAAC on the VLT, in the framework of observing proposal 079.C-0203(A). The image processing was done by Yuri Beletsky (ESO) and HÃ¤nnes Heyer (ESO). It is based on data taken through 4 different narrow-band filters centred around 1.21, 1.71, 2.09 and 3.28 microns.