Stellar Winds and Radiation From Eruptive Star Eta Carinae Sculpt Gas and Dust

Stsci_2003-31a_1024

stsci_2003-31a November 6th, 2003

Credit: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

A small portion of the rough-and-tumble neighborhood of swirling dust and gas near one of the most massive and eruptive stars in our galaxy is seen in this NASA Hubble Space Telescope image. This close-up view shows only a three light-year-wide portion of the entire Carina Nebula, which has a diameter of over 200 light-years. Located 8,000 light-years from Earth, the nebula can be seen in the southern sky with the naked eye. Dramatic dark dust knots and complex structures are sculpted by the high-velocity stellar winds and high-energy radiation from the ultra-luminous variable star called Eta Carinae, or Eta Car (located outside the picture). This image shows a region in the Carina Nebula between two large clusters of some of the most massive and hottest known stars. The filamentary structure is caused by turbulence in the circumstellar gas, which in turn was caused by several stars shedding their outer layers. Cold gas mixes with hot gas, leaving a veil of denser, opaque material in the foreground. The chemical elements in the surroundings create a potential reservoir for new star formation. Areas in the brightest parts of the image at the top show elephant-trunk shaped dust clouds that may form into embryonic solar systems. This Hubble image was taken in July 2002 as part of a parallel observing program. The Hubble telescope has several instruments that can be simultaneously used to look at slightly different portions of the sky. In this case, the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph was used to study Eta Carinae itself, while the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 was used to take this image of the nebulosity near Eta Car. This parallel observing mode increases Hubble's efficiency and allows astronomers to probe parts of the sky that they would not otherwise be able to investigate. Produced by the Hubble Heritage team, this color image is a composite of ultraviolet, visible, and infrared filters that have been assigned the colors blue, g

Provider: Space Telescope Science Institute

Image Source: https://hubblesite.org/contents/news-releases/2003/news-2003-31

Curator: STScI, Baltimore, MD, USA

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

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Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Carina Nebula NGC 3372
Subject - Milky Way
Nebula > Appearance > Emission

Distance

Universescale1
8,000 light years
Stsci_2003-31a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 10h 44m 58.5s
DEC = -59° 35’ 58.7”
Orientation
North is 173.6° CW
Field of View
1.2 x 2.2 arcminutes
Constellation
Carina

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Blue Hubble (WFPC2) Optical (B) 450.0 nm
Green Hubble (WFPC2) Optical (V) 606.0 nm
Red Hubble (WFPC2) Optical (I) 814.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Blue
Green
Red
Stsci_2003-31a_1280
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ID
2003-31a
Subject Category
B.4.2.1  
Subject Name
Carina Nebula, NGC 3372
Credits
NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
Release Date
2003-11-06T00:00:00
Lightyears
8,000
Redshift
8,000
Reference Url
https://hubblesite.org/contents/news-releases/2003/news-2003-31
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Distance in lightyears
Facility
Hubble, Hubble, Hubble
Instrument
WFPC2, WFPC2, WFPC2
Color Assignment
Blue, Green, Red
Band
Optical, Optical, Optical
Bandpass
B, V, I
Central Wavelength
450, 606, 814
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
2000.0
Reference Value
161.24359606722, -59.59964275806
Reference Dimension
730.00, 1325.00
Reference Pixel
690.86596809326, 581.06093229880
Scale
-0.00002770246, 0.00002770246
Rotation
-173.64554501206
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 919.24 1253.63 577.18 356.13 1024.82 371.85 569.25 1247.54 978.14 413.09 612.87 1197.38 908.38 459.12 676.11 1142.85 958.97 697.03 599.44 912.25 Center Pixel Coordinates: 365.00 161.22650455493 662.50 -59.60327778547
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-p0331a-f-730x1325.tif
Resource URL
https://mast.stsci.edu/api/latest/Download/file?uri=mast:OPO/product/STSCI-H-p0331a-f-730x1325.tif
Related Resources
http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2003/31
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