|A jewel of the southern sky,
Carina Nebula, also known as NGC 3372, spans over 300 light-years,
one of our galaxy's largest star forming regions.
Like the smaller, more northerly
Great Orion Nebula, the
Carina Nebula is easily visible to the
unaided eye, though at a distance of 7,500
light-years it is some 5 times farther away.
gorgeous telescopic portrait
reveals remarkable details of the region's glowing filaments of
and obscuring cosmic dust clouds.
Wider than the Full Moon in
the field of view
stretches nearly 100 light-years across the nebula.
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.
Carinae is the brightest star
the left, near the dusty
Keyhole Nebula (NGC 3324).
While Eta Carinae itself maybe on the verge of a supernova explosion,
X-ray images indicate that the Great Carina Nebula
has been a veritable
Credit & Copyright:
Additional data from the
telescope at La Silla, Chile
(R.Gendler, J.-E.Ovaldsen, C.Thöne, C.Feron).