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Contains:  NGC 2671
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RCW 32 and 33 nebulae in the Vela Molecular Ridge, 



RCW 32 and 33 nebulae in the Vela Molecular Ridge

Technical card

Resolution: 4490x3575

Dates:Jan. 7, 2019

Frames: 31x300"

Integration: 2.6 hours

Avg. Moon age: 1.29 days

Avg. Moon phase: 1.88% job: 2460278

Data source: Own remote observatory

Remote source: Non-commercial independent facility


This short exposure is the first light from our remote observatory, a joint work with Eduardo Oliveira.

The HII regions RCW 32 and RCW 33 are located about 2500 light years away from us in the constellation Vela. Most stars are born in clusters, and recent results suggest that star formation preferentially occurs in subclusters. Studying the morphology and star formation history of young clusters is crucial for understanding early cluster formation processes. The embedded population of young stellar objects down to the low-mass stars in the M-type regime in the three H II regions RCW 33, RCW 32, and RCW 27 (not shown here) was identified recently. The cluster Cr 197 (the large bluish star cluster in the center of the image) was generated within the last 15 million years (A&A 617, A63 (2018)). The small open cluster NGC 2671 (in the center of the image) was discovered in 1826 by James Dunlop and is 80M years old. The red bright small objectat the left-center is the planetary nebula PN K 2-15. Also note the bright star forming region in the middle of the dark ridge at the upper part of RCW 33. Some red-blue delicate tendrils, part of the Vela Supernova Remnant, may be seen on the top left.

In the Milky Way one of the main modes of star formation is in stellar clusters, which remain associated with their parental cloud for about 5-10 million years. This makes the star forming regions complex targets, characterised by rich stellar populations packed into small regions, sometime even with massive stars, and clouds whose morphology and properties are affected by the radiation of the stars formed in them. Star forming regions are thus intriguing targets where occur several important physical phenomena of great interest for modern astrophysics.

One of the major challenges in studying star forming regions is the identification and characterisation of their young stars. It is in fact often difficult to observe the low mass members which may be hidden by the surrounding clouds, and it is not always trivial to separate the stars associated with star forming regions with unrelated sources falling in the same line of sight but being at different distances.

The study: “Low-mass star formation and subclustering in the H II regions RCW 32, 33, and 27 of the Vela Molecular Ridge. A photometric diagnostics for identifying M-type stars” of L. Prisinzano (INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo), recently published on Astronomy & Astrophysics, is focused on the young stellar population and the star formation process in the three young clusters RCW 27, RCW32, and RCW 37, part of the Vela Molecular Ridge. Their population of young stars with protoplanetary disks (disks of gas and dust orbiting around young stars for 5-15 million of years, and from which planetary systems can form), counting 559 stars, is selected thanks to the IR emission from their disks or the UV and Hα emission due to the accretion of gas from the disks onto the central stars. A total of 1200 candidate young M stars associated with the three clusters were also identified adopting a photometric selection procedure developed by the astronomers of the Astronomical Observatory of Palermo. Thanks to this rich sample of young stars associated with this region, the authors could estimate the distance of the clusters (about 2500 light years from the Sun) and their age (0.5-13 million of years). They also have been able to acquire a complete picture of the star formation process in this cloud, with a decreasing star formation rate in RCW 33 and star formation in RCW 27 and RCW 32 likely been triggered by the interaction between the molecular cloud and the radiation from the first generation of stars formed. (



License: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons


  • RCW 32 and 33 nebulae in the Vela Molecular Ridge, 


  • RCW 32 and 33 nebulae in the Vela Molecular Ridge, 


  • Final
    RCW 32 and 33 nebulae in the Vela Molecular Ridge, 




RCW 32 and 33 nebulae in the Vela Molecular Ridge,