Panning across this star-forming region, dramatic dark towers of cool gas and dust are seen rising above a glowing wall of gas. The high-energy radiation blazing out from the hot, young stars in NGC 3324 is sculpting the wall of the nebula by slowly eroding it away.
This image is a composite of data taken with two of Hubble’s science instruments. Data taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) in 2006 isolated light emitted by hydrogen. More recent data, taken in 2008 with the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2), isolated light emitted by sulfur and oxygen gas. To create a color composite, the data from the sulfur filter are represented by red, from the oxygen filter by blue, and from the hydrogen filter by green.