Previously unseen details of a mysterious, complex structure within the Carina Nebula (NGC 3372), also called the Keyhole Nebula, are revealed by this image obtained with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
The Carina Nebula (NGC 3372)
Credits: NASA, The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI)
The picture is a montage assembled from four different April 1999 telescope pointings with Hubbles Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, which used six different colour filters.
The picture is dominated by a large, approximately circular feature, about 7 light-years across, which is part of the Keyhole Nebula, named in the 19th century by British astronomer Sir John Herschel. This region, about 8000 light-years from Earth, is located near to the famous explosive variable star Eta Carinae, which lies just outside the field of view toward the upper right.
The Carina Nebula also contains several other stars that are among the hottest and most massive known, each about 10 times as hot, and 100 times as massive, as our Sun.
Lars Lindberg Christensen | ESA
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