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Gum 29, also catalogued as RCW 49, is an emission nebula in the constellation Carina. This region is still a rich star-forming area. In the past, it was forming stars at a very fast pace. This has been coming to a lower rate. The rich and compact open cluster Westerlund 2 is the most conspicuous result of this star forming frenzy. One of the stars of this cluster (in the lower central part of the image, shown in the picture below) has been determined to be a very close double. According to ESO, the two stars orbit each other in 3.7 days and are very massive (82 and 83 solar masses respectively). Both are among the most massive stars currently known.


Additional Information


Name(s): Gum 29. RCW 49. Westerlund 2

Type: Emission Nebula with open cluster

RA:  10h 23m 58s

Dec: -57º 45’ 49”

Constellation: Carina

Size (arcmin): 8×9

Magnitude: +10

Distance: 22,500 ly


Date: 2018-02-21 thru 2018-03-11

Location:, SSO near Coonabarabran, NSW Australia

Size (arcmin): 36×36

Telescope: Planewave CDK 20” f/6.8

Camera: SBIG STX16803 (4096x4096pix)

Guiding: Astrodon MonsterMOAG off-axis guider

Total exposure: 15h (Ha: 8 h; OIII: 5.5 h; RGB: 1h 30m)

Processing: CCDStack, Photoshop CC 2018

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