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The NGC 3576 Nebula
NGC 3576 is located in 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. The dramatic false-color image also highlights the contributions of hydrogen, sulfur, and oxygen, energized by intense ultraviolet radiation, to the nebular glow. But the glow also silhouettes dense clouds of dust and gas. For example, the two condensing dark clouds near the right 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.