Racing the Dawn …. Eta Carinae Nebula


Sometimes, to capture a special moment demands rigorous timing – especially when you are on a steep learning curve. The constellation of Carina is visible at this time of the year in the very early morning hours … And waking at 4am gives you a tight window to setup and align equipment before the approach of dawn.

To complicate things a full moon was hovering in the western sky … Leaving a brief 30 minutes or so to image successfully.

This final stacked image is made from 30 x 20 sec subs, and 20 x 20 sec dark frames @ 1600 ISO. Canon 7D prime focussed through a Celestron CPC 9.25.

It shows a small section of the much larger Great Nebula in Carina NGC 3372 … and is centred on the massive star Eta Carinae. EC and a number of the stars in this nebula are a million times brighter than our sun. The nebula lies between 6,500 @ 10,000 light years away and can be seen with the naked eye.

Embedded in the upper left of the nebula is the cluster Trumpler 14 – a stellar nursery of hot young stars.


3 thoughts on “Racing the Dawn …. Eta Carinae Nebula

    1. Glad you like these Sarah. Sometimes I feel the same …. In those pre-dawn images, it takes about an hour to set up and complete all the frames so I get time to just walk away from the laptop and look up into the milky way. I always feel small and humble after that. Except for this morning …. When I waited in futility for the cloud to clear at 3.30am – it didn’t … And went forlornly back to bed. This new passion of astrophotography is a drug and withdrawal is not pleasant.


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