New photo of giant star, Eta Carinae, one of the most massive stars in our galaxy

// October 6th, 2013 // Astronomy and Space News


Eta Carinae in the Carina nebula

The photo above is a new view of the Carina nebula taken by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. The bright star at the center of the nebula, the object responsible for the nebula’s distorted form, is Eta Carinae, one of the most massive stars in the galaxy. Eta Carinae is around 100 times the mass of our sun and 1 million times brighter. Scientists think it could explode as a supernova at any time. According to Wired magazine, the “infrared light from the star destroys particles of dust, sculpting cavities and leaving pillars of denser material that point back to the star”. The picture is a three-channel composite, showing emission from wavelengths of 3.6 microns (blue), 4.5 microns (green), and 8.0 microns (red).

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