NGC 3324 is an emission nebula belonging to the Eta Carina complex. This is a frantic star-forming region where the newly formed stars carve and shape the nebula with their strong stellar winds. This nebula is usually imaged alone, better showing Gabriela Mistral’s profile. NGC 3324 is rich in OIII emission, but the region to its East (left) also has a prominent bluish OIII emission region, very apparent in this mosaic. Gabriela Mistral’s “long and wavy hair” shows an intricate HII structure that is also found in other emission nebulae, like the Tarantula (NGC 2070). This “hair” already belongs to the Eta Carina Nebula.
This image is the result of combining two images of this region. The right one was taken in 2016 (see previous version here) and the left one was taken in 2018. They all were taken with narrowband filters and mapped to natural colors (SII: Red; Ha: Red and 15% Blue; OIII: Green and Blue). Short RGB exposures were taken to provide natural star colors.
Name(s): NGC 3324. The Gabriela Mistral Nebula
Type: Emission Nebula
RA: 10h 37m 20s
Dec: -58º 37’ 57”
Size (arcmin): 12×15
Distance: 7,500 ly
Date: 2016-04-27 thru 2016-06-29 (right pane) and 2018-05-20 thru 2018-06-03 (left pane)
Location: iTelescope.net, SSO near Coonabarabran, NSW Australia
Size (arcmin): 56×31
Telescope: Planewave CDK 20” f/6.8
Camera: SBIG STX16803 (4096x4096pix)
Guiding: Astrodon MonsterMOAG off-axis guider
Total exposure: 46.3 hours (Ha: 34x30min; OIII:34x30min; SII: 16x30min; RGB: 4h20m, 52x5min)
Processing: CCDStack, Photoshop CC 2018