Carina – Birthplace of Giants

The Great Carina Nebula (NGC 3372), is the most famous star-forming region of the southern sky, spanning more than 100 light-years and is visible to the naked eye as a glowing patch in the Milky Way.

The Nebula plays home for thousands of stars similar in mass to the sun and 70 O-type stars, which are stars with a mass between 15 and 150 times the mass of the sun. O-stars burn hot and bright and die young-within 10 million years.

This image shows the area surrounding the Keyhole Nebula (NGC 3324) and spans about 40 light-years.

Several astronomical objects can be seen in the image : to the bottom left of the image is one of the most impressive binary stars in the Universe, Eta Carinae. Adjacent, lie the Keyhole Nebula and Homunculus Nebula – material ejected from the star during its Great Eruption in the 19th century. The collection of very bright, young stars above and to the right of Eta Carinae is the open star cluster Trumpler 14. A second open star cluster, Collinder 228 is also seen in the image, just below Eta Carinae.

Imaged 14 March 2015.

Canon 7D Prime Focussed through a Celestron CPC 9.25
ISO 1600
70 light and 30 dark frames x 25 sec stacked in DSS

Processed in Lightroom

Picture saved with settings applied.


14 thoughts on “Carina – Birthplace of Giants

  1. Wow love this shot, I will have to check this out, thanks for letting us know about the stacking to achieve this look. Never done it but I can appreciate those who do, great work!!

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    1. Thanks Jim … Give the stacking a go – it’s not as good as having a full tracking scope locked on for 23 minutes on a single shot but allows you to collect a fair amount of light.

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    1. Not modified. I wish I had one that was … Better for the red nebulae for sure, but here with Carina there is a truckload of oxygen in those clouds and it comes across blue without any effort at all. The 70 stacked frames helps too.

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  2. Nice work! Having seen most if not all of the all of the Messier, and a fairly good number of additional NGC objects over the years, I none the less have not had the priviladge of this southern sky icon. Maybe some day…. M 🙂

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