Fr.: NGC 3603
The most massive and luminous visible → starburst region in the Galaxy. This is our local → giant H II region lying at a distance of about 6-7 kpc in the → Carina arm (→ right ascension = 11h, → declination = -61°). Its central starburst cluster hosts the largest known concentration of extremely young, mostly unevolved → high-mass stars in the Galaxy. With an age of only 1-2 Myr for its most massive stars, NGC 3603 is one of the youngest starburst clusters known. It has about 40 known → O stars and → W-R stars, producing a → Lyman continuum flux of 1051 s-1, about 100 times the ionizing power of the Orion → Trapezium cluster. The OB stars contribute to more than 2000 → solar masses to the cluster mass. With a bolometric luminosity over 107→ solar luminosities, NGC 3603 has about 10% of the luminosity of → 30 Doradus and looks in many respects very similar to its core, → R136. A total mass of 7,000 solar masses is measured in the inner 1 pc from the cluster center, whereas the → low-mass stars extend out to at least 5 pc. The mass segregated core of the cluster, with 105 solar masses per pc3, displays the highest local stellar density outside the Galactic Center region. The spectral analysis of the W-R like massive component in the cluster core (→ HD 97950) suggests a → metallicity close or equal to solar (See, e.g., Melena et al. 2008, AJ 135, 878, and references therein).
3603, a serial number in the → New General Catalogue.
Fr.: NGC 3603-A1
A → binary star lying in the core of the Galactic → giant H II region → NGC 3603. NGC 3603-A1 is double-eclipsing → Wolf-Rayet binary of type → WN6ha with an orbital period of 3.77 days. Their masses have been derived to be M1 = (116 ± 31) Msun for the primary and M2 = (89 ± 16) Msun for the secondary component of A1. The primary in A1 is the most massive star weighed so far (Schnurr et al., 2008, MNRAS 389, L38).
→ NGC 3603.