WFPC2 Image of Eta Carinae

Stsci_2009-25aw_1024

stsci_2009-25aw September 9th, 2009

Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team

The signature balloon-shaped clouds of gas blown from a pair of massive stars called Eta Carinae have tantalized astronomers for decades. Eta Carinae has a volatile temperament, prone to violent outbursts over the past 200 years. Imaging by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope reveals a stream of charged particles from a massive stellar wind and some of the chemical elements that were ejected in the eruption seen in the middle of the nineteenth century. The amount of mass being carried away by the wind is the equivalent of one sun every thousand years. Eta Car A is one of the most massive and most visible stars in the sky. Because of the star's extremely high mass, it is unstable and uses its fuel very quickly, compared to other stars. Such massive stars also have a short lifetime, and astronomers expect that Eta Carinae will explode within a million years. Eta Carinae is 7,500 light-years away in the constellation Carina.

Provider: Space Telescope Science Institute

Image Source: https://hubblesite.org/contents/news-releases/2009/news-2009-25

Curator: STScI, Baltimore, MD, USA

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

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Image Details

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

Distance

Universescale1
7,500 light years
Stsci_2009-25aw_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 10h 45m 3.6s
DEC = -59° 41’ 4.3”
Orientation
North is 130.4° CCW
Field of View
0.6 x 0.6 arcminutes
Constellation
Carina

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Blue Hubble (WFPC2) Optical (U) 336.0 nm
Cyan Hubble (WFPC2) Optical ([O III]) 502.0 nm
Green Hubble (WFPC2) Optical ([O I]) 631.0 nm
Yellow Hubble (WFPC2) Optical (Halpha) 656.0 nm
Red Hubble (WFPC2) Optical ([N II]) 658.0 nm
September 5/6, 2008
Spectrum_base
Blue
Cyan
Green
Yellow
Red
Stsci_2009-25aw_1280
×
ID
2009-25aw
Subject Category
B.3   B.3.2.1  
Subject Name
Eta Carinae
Credits
NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team
Release Date
2009-09-09T00:00:00+00:00
Lightyears
7,500
Redshift
7,500
Reference Url
https://hubblesite.org/contents/news-releases/2009/news-2009-25
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
7,500 light-years (2,300 parsecs)
Facility
Hubble, Hubble, Hubble, Hubble, Hubble
Instrument
WFPC2, WFPC2, WFPC2, WFPC2, WFPC2
Color Assignment
Blue, Cyan, Green, Yellow, Red
Band
Optical, Optical, Optical, Optical, Optical
Bandpass
U, [O III], [O I], Halpha, [N II]
Central Wavelength
336, 502, 631, 656, 658
Start Time
2008-09-05T00:00:00, 2008-09-06T00:00:00, 2008-09-05T00:00:00, 2008-09-06T00:00:00, 2009-09-05T00:00:00
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
S
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
161.2650562, -59.6845166
Reference Dimension
738.0, 726.0
Reference Pixel
370.0, 364.0
Scale
-1.2756e-05, 1.2756011e-05
Rotation
130.42
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
WCS retrieved using CXCs PinpointWCS
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-p0925aw-f-738x726.tif
Resource URL
https://mast.stsci.edu/api/latest/Download/file?uri=mast:OPO/product/STSCI-H-p0925aw-f-738x726.tif
Related Resources
http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2009/25
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