NGC 3372 (Eta Carinae Nebula) in Carina

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  16" DCA: LRGB 16" DCA: HaLRGBOIII 16" DCA: Ha-HaO-O 16" DCA: Ha  
  Size: 2000 px Size: 2000 px Size: 2000 px Size: 2000 px  
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© Velimir Popov & Emil Ivanov 2013

The Carina Nebula (also known as the Great Nebula in Carina, the Eta Carinae Nebula, NGC 3372, or Caldwell 92, as well as the Grand Nebula) is a large bright nebula that has within its boundaries several related open clusters of stars. Some papers generally refer to this as the Carina Nebula, mostly because of differentiating the many paper published on this object, but the historical precedence as determined by southern observers like James Dunlop and John Herschel, who have both termed it the Eta Argus Nebula or Eta Carinae Nebula. The nebula lies at an estimated distance between 6 500 and 10 000 light years from Earth. It appears in the constellation of Carina, and is located in the Carina–Sagittarius Arm. The nebula contains multiple O-type stars. Eta Carinae and HD 93129A, are two of the most massive and luminous stars in our Milky Way galaxy. The nebula is one of the largest diffuse nebulae in our skies. Although it is some four times as large and even brighter than the famous Orion Nebula, the Carina Nebula is much less well known, due to its location in the southern sky. It was discovered by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1751–52 from the Cape of Good Hope. (The text is taken from Wikipedia)

Carina Nebula, glowing intensely red in the middle of the image. Eta Carinae is a highly luminous hypergiant star. Estimates of its mass range from 100 to 150 times the mass of the Sun, and its luminosity is about four million times that of the Sun. This object is currently the most massive star that can be studied in great detail, because of its location and size. Several other known stars may be more luminous and more massive, but data on them is far less robust. Stars with more than 80 times the mass of the Sun produce more than a million times as much light as the Sun. They are quite rare-only a few dozen in a galaxy as big as ours, and they flirt with disaster near the Eddington limit, i.e., the outward pressure of their radiation is almost strong enough to counteract gravity. Stars that are more than 120 solar masses exceed the theoretical Eddington limit, and their gravity is barely strong enough to hold in its radiation and gas, resulting in a possible supernova or hypernova in the near future. Eta Carinae's effects on the nebula can be seen directly. The dark globules in the above image and some other less visible objects have tails pointing directly away from the massive star. The entire nebula would have looked very different before the Great Eruption in the 1840s surrounded Eta Carinae with dust, drastically reducing the amount of ultraviolet light it put into the nebula.

There a lot of star clusters in the vicinity of the Eta Carinae nebula. Many of them are probably foreground clusters in front of the nebula. Two of these clusters are definitely within the nebula - Trumpler 14 and Trumpler 16. Trumpler 16 includes the star Eta Carinae as one of its member stars. In the image can be recognised the open clusters: Collinder 228, Bochum 10, Trumpler 14, Trumpler 15, Trumpler 16, Collinder 232, Bochum 11 etc. (see the map below - from The Atlas Of The Univerce).

This is an image taken with 16" Dream Corrected Astrograph (DCA). An image taken with 12" ASA astrograph can be seen here

Object details

Right Ascension 10:43:50 (h:m:s)
Declination -59:52:00 (deg:m:s)
Distance ~ 9 000 (ly)
Apparent Dimension 120 x 120 (arc min)

Image details



Center of field RA 10:44:35 (h:m:s)
Center of field DE -59:52:25 (deg:m:s)
Size 1.37 x 1.37 (deg)
Pixel scale: 1.23 (arcsec/pixel)
Orientation: Up is -179 degrees E of N
Optic(s): 16" f3,75 Dream Corrected Astrograph (DCA)
Mount: Astelco NTM-500 direct drive mount
Camera: Apogee Alta U-16M CCD camera
Filters: Lum, Red, Green, Blue, Ha, OIII and SII Astrodon
Dates/Times: From 3 to17 of May 2013
Location: Namibia-TIVOLI ASTROFARM, S 23° 27' 40,9" / E 18° 01' 02,2"
Exp. Details: L:15x5min, R:10x5min, G:10x5min, B:10x5min, Ha:6x15min, OIII:4x15min
  Bin 1, Total Exposure Time - 375 min (6:15 hours)
More details: Dark and flat frames reduction
Processing: PixInsight / PS
Copyright: Velimir Popov and Emil Ivanov 2013. All Rights Reserved
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