|Short object description
At a distance of between 7500 and 10 000 light years
from the solar system, in the constellation of Carina (the keel of the ship),
NGC 3372, the Carina Nebula complex, is one of the largest star forming regions
in our galaxy. The nebula complex lies in the Sagittarius arm of the Milky Way.
As one of the largest HII regions in our Galaxy, the Carina Nebula represents a
huge star forming region, similar to the Orion Nebula. It contains several open
star clusters, including the Collinder 228, 232 and 234 clusters, Trumpler 14
Trumpler 15 and Trumpler 16, and Bochum 10 and Bochum 11.
The massive stars of the open star clusters in the
center of this H-II region emit intense radiation that excites the surrounding
gas to glow. Other regions of the nebula, however, contain dark pillars of dust
that cover newborn stars. In the Carina Nebula, a battle between stars and dust
is going on, which the newly formed stars will win. They produce high-energy
radiation and stellar winds that vaporize and dissolve the dusty nurseries of
the stars in which they were formed.