Eta Carinae area (NGC 3372)

clic for 40% size 1450 x 1069 (594 kB)

About this Image

The super massive star Eta Carinae is embedded in a huge gas and dust cloud. It is situated approx. 9,000 light-years away. Eta Carinae suffered a giant outburst in the year 1841, when it became one of the brightest stars in the southern sky. Though the star released as much visible light as a supernova explosion, it survived the outburst.

Such large stars are very unstable. The expelled gas that creates the spectacular nebula with its famous key hole in the center that we see today. The gas shell is moving outward at about 1.5 million miles per hour. The whole nebula spans 300 light years.
North is right.

Below you see the center as a pure H-alpha image.

clic for 70% size 1302 x 1249 (311 kB)

Technical Details


105mm TMB refractor with flattener at f/6.5

Mount AP-400 GEM
Camera SBIG STL-11000M at -25C, internal filter wheel
Filters Astronomik H-alpha (15 nm) + LRGB
Date LRGB: Aug 07, 2004.
Ha: Aug 07, 2004
Location Hakos/Namibia
Sky Conditions mag 6.5, high transparency, temperature 10 C,
Exposure Ha = 40 minutes (10-minute sub-exposures),
LRGB= 15:15:15:15 min (5-minute sub-exposures)
all 1x1.
Processing Image aquisition in Maxim DL 4.0; Image calibration, aligning, mean stacking, DDP and color synthesis in ImagesPlus;
Photoshop: H-alpha blended to red and L channel; size 20/40 %;