Carina Nebula
Carina Nebula
Diffuse Nebula, with Star Clusters, in Carina

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Click on image to toggle between Hubble pallet false color version and "normal" color version


Carina Nebula: The Carina Nebula is a huge, bright diffuse nebula in the constellation Carina, and one of the largest star-forming regions in our galaxy. It is about 8,000 light years from us, and over 300 light years across. The bright star just left of center is the variable star Eta Carinae, an extremely hot and large star, with a mass of at least 100 times that of our Sun (making it one of the most massive stars in our galaxy), surrounded by the Homunculus Nebula (the small, bright bubble; this nebula is made up of matter ejected from the unstable star in 1843). Also in the field is the bright open star cluster NGC3293 (in th eupper left corner), associated with the large hydrogen cloud dominating the picture. Also in the field is the dark nebula called the "Keyhole Nebula," the dark filaments occluding some of the Homunculus Nebula; the Keyhole Nebula is much closer to us than the Carina Nebula. There are a number of other bright, young star clusters associated with the Nebula. The field is presented here in two versions, a false-color version using the "Hubble palette," and a more standard version (click on the image to toggle between the two versions, waiting long enough for large files to download). As explained on the Hubble site, "The final image depicts red light from hydrogen atoms as green, red light from sulfur ions (sulfur atoms with one electron removed) as red, and green light from doubly-ionized oxygen (oxygen atoms with two electrons missing) as blue. These color reassignments enhance the level of detail visible in the image, because otherwise the red light from hydrogen and that from sulfur would be hard to tell apart. In the final [Hubble palette] image, the blue-green haze indicates light from hydrogen and oxygen."


Technical Information:

Ha:SII:Ha:OIII: 300:300:300:300; the luminance layer and the Ha channel are data taken through an Astrodon Ha filter; the SII channel taken through an Astrodon SII filter, and the OIII channel was taken through an Astrodon OIII filter. All consisted of combinations of 30-minute imagess. All images unbinned.

(HaR)(HaR)GB: 300:200:200:200 (Luminance layer consists of a blending of ten 30-minute images through an Astrodon Ha filter and twenty 10-minute images taken through an Astrodon red filter; the red channel consisted of a different blending of the same Ha and red-filtered data; all individual color images were 10-minute exposures through Astrodon filters. All images unbinned.

Equipment: Takahashi FSQ106, SBIG STL11000 (with Astrodon Generation 1 filters), on a Bisque Paramount ME German Equatorial Mount.

Image Acquisition/Camera Control: MaximDL, working in concert with TheSky v6, all controlled with ACP Observatory Control software.

Processing: All images calibrated (darks and dawn flats), aligned, data-rejection performed in CCDStack. Color combine and finish work was done in Photoshop CS5. The false-color version was mapped with SII as red, Ha as green, and OIII as blue, with an Ha version functioning as the luminance layer.

Location: Data acquired remotely from Fair Dinkum Skies, near Moorook, South Australia.

Date: Images taken in early April 2011. Image posted April 7, 2011.

CCD Chip temperature: -15C

Copyright 2011, 2013 Mark de Regt

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