This composite image of this famed variable star shows the central region of the Great Nebula in Carina, which has been largely carved out by its brilliant light.

Eta Carinae is one of the most massive stars in the Milky Way, with about 100 times the mass of our own Sun. This composite image of this famed variable star (upper center) shows the central region of the Great Nebula in Carina, which has been largely carved out by its brilliant light. A study combining X-ray and Infrared observations has revealed a new population of massive stars lurking in regions of the nebula that are highly obscured by dust. Adding these new massive stars to the known massive stars suggests that the Carina Nebula will produce twice as many supernova explosions as previously supposed.

Visible light in the blue part of the spectrum from the Digital Sky Survey is represented as blue, near infrared light with a wavelength of 2.2 microns from the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) is green, and infrared observations from the Infrared Array Camera on NASA’s Spitzer Space telescope at 3.6 microns is red.

More information on this result can be found at http://chandra.si.edu/press/11_releases/press_052411.html

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.