W3 starbirth region. Combined optical and X-ray image of hot young stars in the W3 region of the Perseus arm of the Milky Way galaxy. The central area of this image is W3 Main, where several hundred young stars are emitting low- energy (green) and high-energy (blue) X-rays. Another cluster of young stars, IC 1795, is seen at bottom left. The optical data (red) shows nebulae, clouds of gas and dust, from which stars such as these form. This region is some 6000 light years from Earth, in the constellation Cassiopeia. Image data obtained from the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the ground-based Palomar Observatory. The combined image was published in December 2006.
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