The Carina Nebula: Star Birth in the Extreme

Stsci_2007-16b_1024

stsci_2007-16b April 24th, 2007

Credit: Credit for Hubble Image: NASA, ESA, N. Smith (University of California, Berkeley), and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) Credit for CTIO Image: N. Smith (University of California, Berkeley) and NOAO/AURA/NSF

In celebration of the 17th anniversary of the launch and deployment of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, a team of astronomers is releasing one of the largest panoramic images ever taken with Hubble's cameras. It is a 50-light-year-wide view of the central region of the Carina Nebula where a maelstrom of star birth - and death - is taking place. Hubble's view of the nebula shows star birth in a new level of detail. The fantasy-like landscape of the nebula is sculpted by the action of outflowing winds and scorching ultraviolet radiation from the monster stars that inhabit this inferno. In the process, these stars are shredding the surrounding material that is the last vestige of the giant cloud from which the stars were born. The immense nebula contains at least a dozen brilliant stars that are roughly estimated to be at least 50 to 100 times the mass of our Sun. The most unique and opulent inhabitant is the star Eta Carinae, at far left. Eta Carinae is in the final stages of its brief and eruptive lifespan, as evidenced by two billowing lobes of gas and dust that presage its upcoming explosion as a titanic supernova. The fireworks in the Carina region started three million years ago when the nebula's first generation of newborn stars condensed and ignited in the middle of a huge cloud of cold molecular hydrogen. Radiation from these stars carved out an expanding bubble of hot gas. The island-like clumps of dark clouds scattered across the nebula are nodules of dust and gas that are resisting being eaten away by photoionization. The hurricane blast of stellar winds and blistering ultraviolet radiation within the cavity is now compressing the surrounding walls of cold hydrogen. This is triggering a second stage of new star formation. Our Sun and our solar system may have been born inside such a cosmic crucible 4.6 billion years ago. In looking at the Carina Nebula we are seeing the genesis of star making as it commonly occurs along the dense spira

Provider: Space Telescope Science Institute

Image Source: https://hubblesite.org/contents/news-releases/2007/news-2007-16

Curator: STScI, Baltimore, MD, USA

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

Image Details

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

Distance

Universescale1
7,500 light years
Stsci_2007-16b_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 10h 44m 52.7s
DEC = -59° 40’ 27.1”
Orientation
North is 50.1° CW
Field of View
24.6 x 11.9 arcminutes
Constellation
Carina

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Grayscale Hubble (ACS/WFC) Optical (H-alpha+[NII]) 658.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Grayscale
Stsci_2007-16b_1280
×
ID
2007-16b
Subject Category
B.4.2.1  
Subject Name
Carina Nebula, NGC 3372
Credits
Credit for Hubble Image: NASA, ESA, N. Smith (University of California, Berkeley), and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) Credit for CTIO Image: N. Smith (University of California, Berkeley) and NOAO/AURA/NSF
Release Date
2007-04-24T00:00:00
Lightyears
7,500
Redshift
7,500
Reference Url
https://hubblesite.org/contents/news-releases/2007/news-2007-16
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Distance in lightyears
Facility
Hubble
Instrument
ACS/WFC
Color Assignment
Grayscale
Band
Optical
Bandpass
H-alpha+[NII]
Central Wavelength
658
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
Reference Value
161.219630, -59.674200
Reference Dimension
7392.00, 3580.0
Reference Pixel
2042.87422733311, 1592.68984246005
Scale
-0.000055515333, 0.00005551533
Rotation
-50.090000
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
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-p0716b-f-29566x14321.tif
Resource URL
https://mast.stsci.edu/api/latest/Download/file?uri=mast:OPO/product/STSCI-H-p0716b-f-29566x14321.tif
Related Resources
http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2007/16
Metadata Date
2022-07-06T00:00:00
Metadata Version
1.2
×

 

Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

×
Universescalefull
7,500 light years