This glittering tapestry of young stars flaring into life in the star cluster Westerlund 2 has been released to celebrate the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s 25th year in orbit and a quarter of a century of discoveries, stunning images and outstanding science.
The cluster resides in the prolific stellar breeding ground called Gum 29, some 20 000 light-years away in the constellation Carina.
The image’s central region, containing the star clusters, blends visible-light data taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys and near-infrared exposures taken by the Wide Field Camera 3. The surrounding region is composed of visible-light observations taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys. The red colours in the image represent hydrogen; the bluish-green hues, hydrogen and oxygen.