Sunday, May 1, 2022

The details of the Great Nebula in Carina

The Carina and Lock nebulae (Image: Reproduction/Ignacio Javier Diaz Bobillo)

This mixture of colors and shapes shows us a little of what exists in NGC 3372, a nebula located in one of the brightest regions of the Milky Way. Also known as the “Great Carina Nebula”, NGC 3372 is home to massive stars, open star clusters and other ever-changing nebulae, one of which appears here.

It is worth looking closely at the area just below the center of the image; this is where the nebula NGC 3324, nicknamed the "Keyhole Nebula" is. It is a small, dark cloud of cold molecules, which contains filaments of hot, glowing gas. and this probably happened due to electromagnetic waves of ionizing radiation coming from the star Eta Carinae.

Discovered in 1752, the Carina Nebula spans over 300 light-years and is approximately 7,500 light-years from us. It is one of the largest diffuse nebulae we see in the night sky, and although it is four times larger and even brighter than the Orion Nebula, the Carina Nebula is much less well known because of its location in the southern sky.

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