07/08/2010 12:21 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

'Explosive' Star Cluster Resembles Spectacular Fireworks Display (PHOTO)

It's just a few days late for July 4th, but still stunning: an image of a nebula in the Carina constellation that resembles a spectacular, celestial fireworks display.

At the center of this explosive-looking nebula is the dense NGC 3603 cluster of stars, which is located about 20,000 lightyears from earth and was captured in visible and infrared light by the Wide Field Camera 3.

"This environment is not as peaceful as it looks," writes NASA of the star cluster. "Ultraviolet radiation and violent stellar winds have blown out an enormous cavity in the gas and dust enveloping the cluster, providing an unobstructed view of the cluster."

See the "starburst cluster" below, then see more of NASA's most extraordinary star images ever.