NGC 3372 Eta Carina Nebula

Multiple Palettes

Fred Calvert, Cold Spring Observatory

Eta Carina is one of the largest diffuse Nebulae, some four times the size of the Orion Nebula and much brighter.  The nebula is estimated to be 7,500 light-years away from Earth in the southern constellation Carina. The two most notable and well known features of the Eta Carina Nebula are the Eta Carina Star system and the Key Hole Nebula, both located in the center section of the picture. The Eta Carina stellar system contains at least two stars with the largest estimated to be 100 times the mass of our sun, and a combined luminosity of over five million times that of our sun. Because of the star's age, size and the speed that the main larger star is losing its mass, the larger star is expected to explode as a supernova or hypernova in the near astronomical future. Data for this image was acquired with a Takahashi FSQ ED 106 / f/5 telescope and SBIG STL- 11000M CCD camera to collect the narrowband data.

Exposure was 1 hour each using Ha - Hydrogen Alpha, OIII - Double Ionized Oxygen and SII - Single Ionized Sulfur, narrowband filters.

This image is a composite of different color mapping methods used by different observatories.

Top Left: Red - SII, Green - Ha, Blue - OIII  (Space Telescope Science Institute - Hubble palette)

Top Right: White Light Image (RGB)

Bottom Left: Red - Ha, Green - OIII, Blue - SII  (Canada France Hawaii Telescope palette)

Bottom Right: Red - Ha, Green - OIII, Blue - OIII (European Southern Observatory palette)


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