Astronomy Picture of the Day



Eta and Keyhole in the Carina Nebula

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#85286 by @ 17.03.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
Eta and Keyhole in the Carina Nebula


Explanation:

South is toward the top in
this
colorful close-up
view of the
Great
Carina Nebula
(NGC 3372), famous star-forming region of the southern sky.

Covering an area surrounding the
dusty Keyhole
Nebula
(NGC 3324) near picture center,
the image spans about 40 light-years within the larger
Carina
Nebula
at an estimated distance of 7,500 light-years,

Like the more northerly Orion Nebula, the bright
Carina
Nebula
is easily visible to the naked-eye.

But the dramatic colors in this telescopic
picture are mapped colors,
based on three exposures through narrow filters each
intended to record the light emitted by specific atoms in
the gaseous nebula.

Sulfur is shown in blue, hydrogen in green and oxygen in red hues.

The Carina Nebula is home to
young, extremely massive stars, including the still
enigmatic variable
Eta
Carinae
, a star with well over 100 times the mass of
the Sun.

Highlighted by diffraction spikes,
Eta is just above
and right (east) of the Keyhole.




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