Trumpler 14 is a glittering star cluster located in the Carina Nebula, a huge star-formation region 8,000 light-years away in the constellation of Carina. The cluster is only 500,000 years old, making it one of the youngest known. Because of its youth, Trumpler 14 has one of the highest concentrations of massive, luminous stars in the entire Milky Way galaxy, with some of the brightest stars ever seen.
The image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope shows the cluster as a glittering diamond tapestry. The blue-white stars in the cluster are burning their hydrogen fuel so fiercely that they will explode as supernovae in just a few million years. The combination of outflowing stellar "winds" and supernova blast waves will carve out cavities in nearby clouds of gas and dust, starting a new generation of stars in an ongoing cycle of star birth and death.
The image is a composite made from data taken with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys in 2005-2006. The composite includes blue, visible, and infrared broadband filters, as well as filters that isolate hydrogen and nitrogen emission from the glowing gas surrounding the open cluster. A small, dark knot of gas laced with dust is visible in silhouette to the left of the center of the cluster.
Image credits: NASA, ESA, J. Maíz Apellániz (Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia, Spain); Acknowledgment: N. Smith (University of Arizona)