Eta Carinae Nebula (NGC 3372)

This five-frame mosaic shows one of the most spectacular regions of the sky. The bright Eta Carinae nebula is flanked by the two open clusters NGC 3532 (left) and NGC 3114 (right). Eta (h) Carinae itself is an unstable star, probably at the end of its lifetime. In 1843 it was the second brightest star in the night sky, but remained invisible to the naked eye for most of the 20th century.

Move your mouse cursor over the image to see object labels (Special thanks to Matt BenDaniel for pointing out this feature. You must have enabled Javascript support in your browser.)

The mosaic was assembled using the same technique developed for the Milky Way panorama. Here is an older single image of the region, taken in 1998 with a 135 mm telephoto lens.

Instrument : Rubinar 300 mm f/4.5 catadioptric telephoto lens
Mount : Vixen Super Polaris DX
Guiding : ST-4 autoguider
Film : Kodak PJ400
Dates : 02 Apr. 2000, 23:04 - 23:49 UTC (E part)
09 Feb. 2002, 20:21 - 21:02 UTC (NE quadrant)
09 Feb. 2002, 21:06 - 21:45 UTC (NW quadrant)
13 Feb. 2002, 20:03 - 20:43 UTC (SW quadrant)
13 Feb. 2002, 20:54 - 21:34 UTC (SE quadrant)
Sites : Cederberg Observatory, South Africa (02 Apr. 2000, 09 Feb. 2002)
Gariganus Farm near Keetmanshoop, Namibia (13 Feb. 2002)

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© 2000-2002 Axel Mellinger
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