An intriguing and beautiful nebula, NGC 3576 drifts through the Sagittarius arm of our spiral Milky Way Galaxy. Within the region, episodes of star formation are thought to contribute to the complex and suggestive shapes. Powerful winds from the nebula's embedded, young, massive stars shape the looping filaments. Hydrogen and oxygen, energized by intense ultraviolet radiation, contribute to the nebular glow. But the glow also silhouettes dense clouds of dust and gas. For example, the two condensing dark clouds near the center of the picture offer potential sites for the formation of new stars. NGC 3576 itself is about 100 light-years across and 9,000 light-years away in the southern constellation of Carina, not far on the sky from the famous Eta Carinae Nebula. At the left of the picture is NGC 3603, a much larger but more distant star forming region (text adapted from APOD).
Apo TEC140 (140/f7.2) - FLI Proline 16803 - Ha (240m) OIII (270m) R (100m) G (110m) B (140m) - Warrumbungle Observatory, Coonabarabran, NSW, Australia