NGC 3372. Eta Carinae Nebula. A wide field


Click on the image for a larger version


NGC 3372, better known and referred to as the Eta Carina Nebula, is one of the most iconic objects in the Southern Hemisphere (if not of the whole sky). The star Eta carina itself (class B0), located in the center of the nebula, is a giant variable blue star (6.2-11.1) and is surrounded by the Homunculus Nebula (too small to be imaged except for the largest telescopes, I captured an image of it with the CDK 20″ that can be found here).

NGC 3372 is a bright (visible with the naked eye) and very large nebula. It is one of the largest HII regions in the Milky Way and four times as large as the better known Orion Nebula (M42). The small region surrounding Eta Carina is commonly named the Keyhole Nebula.

This wide field image has been sharpened and additionally blended with six high resolution images, taken previously with the CDK 20″, of several regions or objects in this field, in order to show a real, enhanced higher resolution. Three of the images belong to the central region, two more to NGC 3324, the Gabriela Mistral Nebula (the “face” and her “curly hair”…) and NGC 3293, the fainter nebula located at the upper right of the Gabriela Mistral Nebula. Taking these additional images (only the narrowband masters of them was used, a total of 118 hours) the total exposure of this image amounts to 121.5 hours.


Additional Information


Name(s): NGC 3372. The Eta Carina Nebula

Type: Emission Nebula

RA:  10h 43m 48s

Dec: -59º 51’ 56”

Constellation: Carina

Size (arcmin): 120×120

Magnitude: +1

Distance: 10,000 ly


Date: 2019-01-08 to 2019-01-15

Location:, SSO near Coonabarabran, NSW Australia

Size (arcmin): 230×230 arcmin

Telescope: Takahashi FSQ 106 f/5

Camera: FLI PL16803 (4096x4096pix)

Guiding: Yes

Total exposure: Wide Field: 4h34m (Ha: 13x10min; OIII: 5x10min; SII: 4x10min; RGB 18x3min). Additional high resolution images: 118 hours. Total: 122.5 hours.

Processing: CCDStack, Photoshop CC 2019

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