Eta Carinae

Stsci_1991-10b_1024

stsci_1991-10b May 17th, 1991

Credit: J. Hester/Caltech & NASA/ESA

A Hubble Space Telescope observation of the star Eta Carinae, made with the Wide Field/ Planetary Camera (WF/PC). An eruptive variable star, Eta Carinae has expelyled a large amount of gas into the surrounding interstellar medium. The HST resolves individual clumps as small as only about ten times the size of our Solar System. Because it is clump on such small scales, and has such a well defined edge, the nebula is probably a thin and well defined shell of material, rather than a filled volume. Radiation pressure and stellar wind from Eta Carinae have fragmented the shell. Ejecta from the star slams into slower moving gas to create a ridge of emission to the lower right. This ridge is in fact part of a "cap" of material located to the southwest and behind the star. Small knots and filaments trace the locations of other shock fronts within the nebula. A very well collimated jet of material flowing away from Eta Carinae can be seen as two parallel lines pointing to the northeast (upper left) away from the star. These two lines mark the edges of the jet, which appears to be a narrow tube-like structure. The jet terminates in an inverted U-shaped feature, which is the bow shock. A fascinating "ladder-like" structure also appears to be associated with the jet. The "rungs" of the ladder may represent some kind of wave phenomenon in the flow of material away from the star. Seven individual exposures were obtained through a filter which isolates light emitted by ionized nitrogen. The exposures were then combined and processed to partially correct for the aberration caused by the telescope's primary mirror. The field shown is 50 arcseconds across, resolution is 0.2 arcseconds. Not all of the structure in the image is real. The cross centered below and to the left of the star is where the four portions of the image (from four different cameras) were imperfectly patched together. Some of the structure along the left side and bottom of the image is due to

Provider: Space Telescope Science Institute

Image Source: https://hubblesite.org/contents/news-releases/1991/news-1991-10

Curator: STScI, Baltimore, MD, USA

Image Use Policy: http://hubblesite.org/copyright/

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Image Details

Image Type
Collage
Object Name
Eta Carinae
Subject - Milky Way
Star > Type > Variable > Irregular

Distance

Universescale1
7,500 light years

Position Details

Position
RA = 10h 45m 3.7s
DEC = -59° 41’ 3.9”
Constellation
Carina

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Grayscale Hubble (WFPC) Optical (NII) 658.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Grayscale
Stsci_1991-10b_1280
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ID
1991-10b
Subject Category
B.3.2.1.2  
Subject Name
Eta Carinae
Credits
J. Hester/Caltech & NASA/ESA
Release Date
1991-05-17T00:00:00
Lightyears
7,500
Redshift
7,500
Reference Url
https://hubblesite.org/contents/news-releases/1991/news-1991-10
Type
Collage
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Distance in lightyears
Facility
Hubble
Instrument
WFPC
Color Assignment
Grayscale
Band
Optical
Bandpass
NII
Central Wavelength
658
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
Equinox
2000.0
Reference Value
161.26527322093, -59.68441375807
Reference Dimension
Reference Pixel
Scale
Rotation
Coordinate System Projection:
Quality
Position
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
STScI
URL
http://hubblesite.org
Name
Space Telescope Science Institute Office of Public Outreach
Email
outreach@stsci.edu
Telephone
410-338-4444
Address
3700 San Martin Drive
City
Baltimore
State/Province
MD
Postal Code
21218
Country
USA
Rights
http://hubblesite.org/copyright/
Publisher
STScI
Publisher ID
stsci
Resource ID
STSCI-H-p9110b-f-3817x2376.tif
Resource URL
https://mast.stsci.edu/api/latest/Download/file?uri=mast:OPO/product/STSCI-H-p9110b-f-3817x2376.tif
Related Resources
http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/1991/10
Metadata Date
2022-07-06T00:00:00
Metadata Version
1.2
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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Universescalefull
7,500 light years