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Light and Shadow in the Carina Nebula

Light and Shadow in the Carina Nebula


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Light and Shadow in the Carina Nebula

Previously unseen details of a mysterious, complex structure within the Carina Nebula (NGC 3372) are revealed by this image of the " Keyhole Nebula, " obtained with NASAs Hubble Space Telescope. The picture is a montage assembled from four different April 1999 telescope pointings with Hubbles Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, which used six different color filters. The picture is dominated by a large, approximately circular feature, which is part of the Keyhole Nebula, named in the 19th century by Sir John Herschel. This region, about 8000 light-years from Earth, is located adjacent to the famous explosive variable star Eta Carinae, which lies just outside the field of view toward the upper right. The high resolution of the Hubble images reveals the relative three- dimensional locations of many of these features, as well as showing numerous small dark globules that may be in the process of collapsing to form new stars. Two striking large, sharp-edged dust clouds are located near the bottom center and upper left edges of the image. The former is immersed within the ring and the latter is just outside the ring. The pronounced pillars and knobs of the upper left cloud appear to point toward a luminous, massive star located just outside the field further toward the upper left, which may be responsible for illuminating and sculpting them by means of its high-energy radiation and stellar wind of high-velocity ejected material. These large dark clouds may eventually evaporate, or if there are sufficiently dense condensations within them, give birth to small star clusters. The Carina Nebula, with an overall diameter of more than 200 light- years, is one of the outstanding features of the Southern Hemisphere portion of the Milky Way. The diameter of the Keyhole ring structure shown here is about 7 light-years. These data were collected by the Hubble Heritage Team and Nolan R. Walborn (STScI), Rodolfo H. Barba (La Plata Observatory, Argentina), and Adeline Caulet (France)

Space Image feature a selection of NASA's incredible imagery

Media ID 635211

© NASA

Hubble Space Telescope Wfpc Carina Nebula Eta Carinae Key Hole Milky Way Nebula


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> Arts > Artists > F > John Field

> Prints > Space

> Science > Space Exploration > Hubble Telescope

> Science > Space Exploration > Milky Way

> Science > Space Exploration > Nebulas

> Science > Space Exploration > Related Images

> South America > Argentina > La Plata

> South America > Argentina > Related Images

> Space Images > Hubble Space Telescope


EDITORS COMMENTS
This stunning print captures the mesmerizing beauty of the Carina Nebula, specifically focusing on the enigmatic Keyhole Nebula. Taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope in April 1999, this montage image reveals previously unseen details of a complex structure within NGC 3372. The picture showcases a large circular feature dominating the frame, which is part of the Keyhole Nebula named by Sir John Herschel in the 19th century. Located approximately 8000 light-years away from Earth, this region lies adjacent to Eta Carinae, a famous explosive variable star just outside the field of view. With its high resolution capabilities, Hubble unveils three-dimensional locations and numerous small dark globules that may be collapsing to form new stars. The photograph also highlights two striking dust clouds with sharp edges near the bottom center and upper left edges. The upper left cloud exhibits pronounced pillars and knobs pointing towards a luminous massive star located further towards the upper left. This star's high-energy radiation and stellar wind sculpt these features. Spanning over 200 light-years in diameter, the Carina Nebula stands as one of Milky Way's most remarkable features in Southern Hemisphere skies. Within this vast expanse lies an intricate ring structure known as Keyhole Nebula measuring around seven light-years across. Captured by NASA's Hubble Heritage Team along with contributions from Nolan R. Walborn (STScI), Rodolfo H. Barba (La Plata Observatory, Argentina), and Adeline Caulet (France), this awe-inspiring image offers us a glimpse into our universe's captivating wonders beyond our own planet Earth.

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