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More Images of Westerlund 2
Click for large jpgX-ray & Infrared
Jpeg, Tif, PS
Chandra X-ray & Spitzer Infrared Image of Westerlund 2
This colored Chandra X-ray Observatory image (inset) shows Westerlund 2 in context with the Spitzer infrared observation (black & white). Westerlund 2 is a young star cluster with an estimated age of about one or two million years. Until recently little was known about this cluster because it is heavily obscured by dust and gas. However, using infrared and X-ray observations to overcome this obscuration, Westerlund 2 has become regarded as one of the most interesting star clusters in the Milky Way galaxy. It contains some of the hottest, brightest and most massive stars known.
(Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. de Liege/Y. Naze et al; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Wisconsin/E. Churchwell)

Click for large jpg Infrared
Jpeg, Tif, PS
Click for large jpg Infrared
Jpeg, Tif, PS
Spitzer Infrared Images of Westerlund 2
RCW 49 is the surrounding HII region around the young stellar cluster Westerlund 2 (Wd2). Because many of the stars in RCW 49 are deeply embedded in plumes of dust, they cannot be seen at visible wavelengths. When viewed with Spitzer's infrared eyes, however, RCW 49 becomes transparent.
(Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Wisconsin/E. Churchwell)

Westerlund 2 with Scale Bar

Return to Westerlund 2 (January 23, 2008)