Eta Carinae

Stsci_1996-23b_1024

stsci_1996-23b June 10th, 1996

Credit: Jon Morse (University of Colorad

The furious expansion of a huge, billowing pair of gas and dust clouds are captured in this NASA Hubble Space Telescope comparison image of the supermassive star Eta Carinae. To create the picture, astronomers aligned and subtracted two images of Eta Carinae taken 17 months apart (April 1994, September 1995). Black represents where the material was located in the older image, and white represents the more recent location. (The light and dark streaks that make an 'X' pattern are instrumental artifacts caused by the extreme brightness of the central star. The bright white region at the center of the image results from the star and its immediate surroundings being 'saturated' in one of the images.) This difference image shows that material closer into the star (which is the bright blob at the image's center) is blasting into space more quickly than material farther from the star. This picture is remarkable because most celestial objects barely change noticeably over a span of many years. Eta Carinae is a dramatic exception because it underwent a titanic explosion 150 years ago. The twin lobes show white outer edges as the ejected material expands into space at 1.5 million miles per hour. For the first time, astronomers can track the motions of hundreds of small-scale structures in the lobes which will allow them to characterize precisely how the lobes are evolving. The new data may give clues as to how the lobes formed in the first place, and shed light on the bipolar phenomenon in general. The images were taken in violet light with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2). The star is more than 8,000 light-years away in the southern constellation Carina.

Provider: Space Telescope Science Institute

Image Source: https://hubblesite.org/contents/news-releases/1996/news-1996-23

Curator: STScI, Baltimore, MD, USA

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

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Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Furious Expansion of Eta Carinae Debris
Subject - Milky Way
Star > Type > Wolf-Rayet

Distance

Universescale1
8,000 light years
Stsci_1996-23b_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 10h 44m 59.6s
DEC = -59° 40’ 52.2”
Orientation
North is 0.2° CCW
Field of View
0.4 x 0.4 arcminutes
Constellation
Carina

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Blue Hubble (WFPC2) Optical (Near UV) 410.0 nm
Red Hubble (WFPC2) Ultraviolet (R) 658.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Blue
Red
Stsci_1996-23b_1280
×
ID
1996-23b
Subject Category
B.3.2.4  
Subject Name
Furious Expansion of Eta Carinae Debris
Credits
Jon Morse (University of Colorad
Release Date
1996-06-10T00:00:00
Lightyears
8,000
Redshift
8,000
Reference Url
https://hubblesite.org/contents/news-releases/1996/news-1996-23
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
Hubble, Hubble
Instrument
WFPC2, WFPC2
Color Assignment
Blue, Red
Band
Optical, Ultraviolet
Bandpass
Near UV, R
Central Wavelength
410, 658
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
2000.0
Reference Value
161.24818491083, -59.68117277167
Reference Dimension
900.00, 900.00
Reference Pixel
1489.02647188001, 836.41528691654
Scale
-0.00000786448, 0.00000786448
Rotation
0.24135800209
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
World Coordinate System resolved using PinpointWCS 0.9.2 revision 218+ by the Chandra X-ray Center FITS X FITS Y EPO X EPO Y 527.00 1003.30 31.64 250.70 556.10 966.73 131.44 121.70 604.03 1111.84 298.83 634.55 633.87 1044.58 400.77 397.16 Center Pixel Coordinates: 450.00 161.26479154063 450.00 -59.68421767730
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-p9623b-f-1125x1125.tif
Resource URL
https://mast.stsci.edu/api/latest/Download/file?uri=mast:OPO/product/STSCI-H-p9623b-f-1125x1125.tif
Related Resources
http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/1996/23
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
8,000 light years