Astronomy Picture of the Day



Sculpting the South Pillar

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#105923 by @ 14.03.2008 00:00 - nach oben -
Sculpting the South Pillar


Explanation:

Eta Carinae, one of the most massive and unstable stars in
the Milky Way Galaxy, has a profound effect on its
environment.

Found in the
the South Pillar region
of the Carina Nebula, these
fantastic pillars
of glowing dust and gas with embedded
newborn stars were sculpted by the intense wind and radiation
from Eta Carinae and other massive stars.

Glowing
brightly
in planet Earth's southern sky, the expansive
Eta Carinae Nebula is a mere
10,000 light-years distant.

Still, this remarkable cosmic vista is largely obscured
by nebular dust and only revealed here in penetrating
infrared light
by the Spitzer Space Telescope.

Eta Carinae itself is off the top left of the false-color image,
with the bright-tipped
dust pillars
pointing suggestively toward the
massive star's position.

The Spitzer image spans almost 200 light-years at the distance
of Eta Carinae.



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