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William Bacon's ETA Carinae Page Index


The Amazing Eta Carinae - Sixty Symbols

Professor Mike Merrifield holds a Titanium Eta Carinae in his fingertips. Deep Sky Videos: See more links in the rest of this video description. Additive Manufacturing at Nottingham: The 3D structure paper by Steffen, et al: History of Eta Carinae: 3D hydrodynamic simulations of binary colliding winds:(PDF) Mike Merrifield on Twitter: Visit our website at We're on Facebook at And Twitter at This project features scientists from The University of Nottingham Sixty Symbols videos by Brady Haran

Zoom in on Eta Carinae

Current status of the deep space network

This animation zooms in on the massive star system Eta Carinae, located in the Carina Nebula. During the zoom the Homunculus Nebula and finally the violent surrounding of Eta Carinae becomes visible. More information and download options: Credit: ESO, Digitized Sky Survey 2, A. Fuji, Nick Risinger ESA/Hubble, T. Preibisch. Acknowledgement: VPHAS+ Consortium/Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit. Music: Johan B. Monell

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Illustration of a possible scenario for the powerful blast seen 170 years ago (from 2018) from the star system Eta Carinae. Credit:

Superstar Eta Carinae Wont Die! 'The Death Star'

#EtaCarinae, the most luminous and massive stellar system within 10,000 light-years of Earth, is known for its surprising behavior, erupting twice in the 19th century for reasons scientists still don't understand. A long-term study led by astronomers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, used NASA satellites, ground-based telescopes and theoretical modeling to produce the most comprehensive picture of Eta Carinae to date. New findings include #HubbleSpaceTelescope images that show decade-old shells of ionized gas racing away from the largest star at a million miles an hour, #MilkywayGalaxy Narrated by BuzWeaver: :Support Eta Carinae Teespring: Music: Orange from YT Audio library

Animation of Eta Carinae

Eta Carinae, one of the most massive stars known and one of the brightest in the night sky. Credit: NASA

The Homunculus Nebula, surrounding Eta Carinae. Credit: ESO, IDA, Danish 1.5 m, R. Gendler, J-E. Ovaldsen, C. Thöne, and C. Feron

Weird X-Rays: What Happens When Eta Carinae�s Massive Stars Get Close?

Eta Carinae, one of the most massive stars known. Image credit: NASA
While the stars appear unchanging when you take a quick look at the night sky,
there is so much variability out there that astronomers will be busy forever. One prominent example is Eta Carinae,
a star system that erupted in the 19th century for about 20 years, becoming one of the brightest stars you could see in the night sky.
It�s so volatile that it�s a high candidate for a supernova.
by Elizabeth Howell on August 27, 2014

Raging Stellar Winds Collide in Eta Carinae Star System | Video

: More space news and info at - astronomers have used the Very Large Telescope Interferometer to image the Eta Carinae star system in the greatest detail ever achieved. They found new and unexpected structures within the binary system, including in the area between the two stars where extremely high velocity stellar winds are colliding. These new insights into this enigmatic star system could lead to a better understanding of the evolution of very massive stars. This colossal binary system consists of two massive stars orbiting each other and is very active, producing stellar winds which travel at velocities of up to ten million kilometers per hour. The zone between the two stars where the winds from each collide is very turbulent, but until now it could not be studied. The power of the Eta Carinae binary pair creates dramatic phenomena. A “Great Eruption” in the system was observed by astronomers in the 1830s. We now know that this was caused by the larger star of the pair expelling huge amounts of gas and dust in a short amount of time, which led to the distinctive lobes - known as the Homunculus Nebula - that we see in the system today. The combined effect of the two stellar winds as they smash into each other at extreme speeds is to create temperatures of millions of degrees and intense deluges of X-ray radiation. The above video zooms in on the massive star system Eta Carinae, located in the Carina Nebula. During the zoom the Homunculus Nebula and finally the violent surroundings of Eta Carinae becomes visible. Lastly, an artist's animation zooms in from outside of the Homunculus Nebula, revealing the system's two massive orbiting stars.

Will Eta Carinae Destroy Life on Earth?

Eta Carinae is located 7,500 light-years away. It is a system of two stars 100 times massive and 5 million times more brighter than our sun. According to astronomers Eta Carinae is about to explode into a hypernova. When that happens it will light up our night sky . It will be the first hypernova we've ever seen. Luckily, we're too far for it's radiation to affect us so we will be totally safe from it.

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Image of the Carina nebula taken by VISTA, which reveals the dynamic cloud of interstellar matter and thinly spread gas and dust as never before. Credit: ESO/J. Emerson/M. Irwin/J. Lewis

3D view of the Carina Nebula

The VISTA telescope has allowed us to peer through the hot gas and dark dust shrouding the spectacular Carina nebula to show us myriad stars, both newborn and in their death throes. This visualisation shows a 3D conversion of images of the Carina Nebula. More information and download options:

Zoom into the Carina Nebula

This zoom video starts with a wide view of the Milky Way and ends with a close-up look at the Carina Nebula and its surroundings in the constellation of Carina. : More information and download options

The VISTA telescope has allowed us to peer through the hot gas and dark dust shrouding the spectacular Carina nebula to show us myriad stars, both newborn and in their death throes. The video is available in 4K UHD. The ESOcast Light is a series of short videos bringing you the wonders of the Universe in bite-sized pieces. The ESOcast Light episodes will not be replacing the standard, longer ESOcasts, but complement them with current astronomy news and images in ESO press releases. More information and download options: Subscribe to ESOcast in iTunes! Receive future episodes on YouTube by pressing the Subscribe button above or follow us on Vimeo: Watch more ESOcast episodes: Find out how to view and contribute subtitles for the ESOcast in multiple languages, or translate this video on YouTube: Credit: ESO. Directed by: Nico Bartmann. Editing: Nico Bartmann. Web and technical support: Mathias André and Raquel Yumi Shida. Written by: Ivana Kurecic and Calum Turner. Music: tonelabs. Footage and photos: ESO, G. Hüdepohl (atacamaphoto.com), DSS, N. Risinger (skysurvey.org), M. Kornmesser. Executive producer: Lars Lindberg Christensen

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OCTOBER 31, 2018 BY PAUL M. SUTTER Scary Giant Blue Stars May Unlock Mysteries of Stellar Evolution

Simulation of outburst from blue variable star. ByJoseph A. Insley, Argonne Leadership Computing Facility and Northern Illinois University

The Homunculus Nebula, created by a massive outburst from the luminous blue variable star Eta Carinae. By Jon Morse (University of Colorado) & NASA Hubble Space Telescope

How Wolf-Rayet Stars Work - Ask a Spaceman!

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Shedding Light on the Isolation of Luminous Blue Variables

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Articles on Eta Carinae

Astronomers stunned again by Eta Carinae – the star that will not die

Eta Carinae the Enigmatic Explosive Star Probed by NASA NUSTAR

Eta Carinae, is a well known massive, luminous star system located about 7,500 light-years away from the Earth. It is in the southern constellation of Carina, and produced an outburst in the 19th century making it the second-brightest star in the sky. Since then, Eta Car has been well studied but still it holds fascination for astronomers studying explosive star systems. It has two massive stars that come very close to each other every 5.5 years. The system has intense outflows which accelerate charged particles to an amazing speed and can produce energy bursts that can be observed by many telescopes. Studies with the NuSTAR space telescope recently have helped characterize the outbursts and the types of particles sent our way Join Tony Darnell and Carol Christian during Afternoon Astronomy Coffee on July 12 at 3PM Eastern time as they discuss with the investigators, including Kenji Hamaguchi of Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and U. of Maryland (UMBC) and Michael Corcoran of GSFC and Catholic University and Christopher Russell (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile) and how they probed Eta Car with NuSTAR to understand the system, and they will describe this interesting NASA mission that probes the high energy universe. Like this content? Please consider becoming a patron: Follow DeepAstronomy on Twitter: @DeepAstronomy Join our free Discord server for always-on chat action! Press Release for today's Topic:

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Eta Carinae is Getting Brighter Because a Dust Cloud was Blocking our View

In addition to being one of the most beautiful and frequently photographed objects in the night sky, Eta Carinae also has also had the honor of being one of the sky’s most luminous stars for over a century and a half. In addition, it has been a scientific curiosity since its giant ejected nebula (Homunculus) contains information about its parent star.

The star Eta Carinae, as it appears today, and within 10 years from now. Credit: University of Montreal

NASA | Scientists Create First Full 3D Model of Eta Carinae Nebula

An international team of astronomers has developed a 3D model of a giant cloud ejected by the massive binary system Eta Carinae during its 19th century outburst. Eta Carinae lies about 7,500 light-years away in the southern constellation of Carina and is one of the most massive binary systems astronomers can study in detail. The smaller star is about 30 times the mass of the sun and may be as much as a million times more luminous. The primary star contains about 90 solar masses and emits 5 million times the sun's energy output. Both stars are fated to end their lives in spectacular supernova explosions. Between 1838 and 1845, Eta Carinae underwent a period of unusual variability during which it briefly outshone Canopus, normally the second-brightest star. As a part of this event, which astronomers call the Great Eruption, a gaseous shell containing at least 10 and perhaps as much as 40 times the sun's mass was shot into space. This material forms a twin-lobed dust-filled cloud known as the Homunculus Nebula, which is now about a light-year long and continues to expand at more than 1.3 million mph (2.1 million km/h). Using the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope and its X-Shooter spectrograph, the team imaged near-infrared, visible and ultraviolet wavelengths along 92 separate swaths across the nebula, making the most complete spectral map to date. The researchers have used the spatial and velocity information provided by this data to create the first high-resolution 3D model of the Homunculus Nebula. The shape model was developed using only a single emission line of near-infrared light emitted by molecular hydrogen gas. The characteristic 2.12-micron light shifts in wavelength slightly depending on the speed and direction of the expanding gas, allowing the team to probe even dust-obscured portions of the Homunculus that face away from Earth. More at This video is public domain and can be downloaded at: Like our videos? Subscribe to NASA's Goddard Shorts HD podcast: Or find NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on Facebook: Or find us on Twitter:

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