Some 3 million light-years distant in nearby spiral galaxy M33,
giant stellar nursery
about 1,300 light-years across,
or nearly 100 times the size of the
In fact, among the star forming regions within the Local Group of
galaxies, NGC 604 is second in size only to 30 Doradus,
also known as
Tarantula Nebula in
Large Magellanic Cloud.
color composite of X-ray data (in blue hues)
from the Chandra Observatory, and
shows that NGC 604's cavernous bubbles and cavities are filled with a
Intriguingly, NGC 604 itself is divided by
wall of relatively cool gas.
On the western (right) side of the nebula,
indicate that material is likely
heated to X-ray temperatures by the energetic winds
from a cluster of about 200 young, massive stars.
On the eastern side the X-ray filled cavities seem to be older,
explosions from the end of
massive star evolution contribute to their formation.