A single pointing, 3-band, near-infrared image obtained with Gemini South’s GeMS/GSAOI of the star cluster and associate nebula RCW 41.
RCW 41 is a star-forming region harboring a massive star cluster surrounded by dust and gas. It lies in the Vela Molecular Ridge –– itself a vast star-forming complex in the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy. By using the near-infrared capabilities of GeMS to probe deep into the obscuring dust that pervades this region, astronomers can study the physical processes acting on this complex environment. Principal Investigator Henri Michel Pierre Plana of Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz in Brazil said, “With its high resolution of 0.13 arcsecond and high sensitivity in the near-infrared, GeMS/GSAOI turned out to be the ideal tool to study the distribution of the initial masses of stars in this young cluster, which can tell us much about their properties and how they evolve.”