NGC 604, located in M33 (The Triangulum Galaxy), is a huge HII region very similar to the Orion Nebula but vastly larger in size and more intense in stellar birth rates. More than 200 massive and very hot new stars in the heart of the nebula provide the radiation energy to ionize the surrounding gas causing it to glow in its characteristic red color. Strong seller winds from these stars have cleared out a large cavity in the center of the nebula. Shock waves from super novae explosions compress gas and dust in the nebula spawning the birth of many stars. Ongoing research of NGC 604 is providing insight into the mechanisms of stellar birth and the evolution of galactic starburst regions.
The image was assembled with data obtained from the Hubble Legacy Archive. Three filtered images were used for the red, green and blue channels. These were imaged using filters of f656n for red, f555w for green and f336w for blue. The color image was created as a standard R+G+B image.
This image was selected and featured on the NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day web site.
1Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, and obtained from the Hubble Legacy Archive, which is a collaboration between the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI/NASA), the Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility (ST-ECF/ESA) and the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre (CADC/NRC/CSA).