New Picture of Carina Nebula Shows Energetic Jets


A Pillar of Dust and Gas Within the Carina Nebula

A Pillar of Dust and Gas Within the Carina Nebula

New pictures released from recently upgraded Hubble Space Telescope show amazing new detail within the spectacular Carina Nebula.  This image was taken in both visible light and near infrared light.  As you can see near the center of the image are two energetic jets spewing matter out of the pillar.

The Carina Nebula is also known as the Eta Carinae Nebula (NGC 3372) and can be found in the constellation Carina.  Unfortunately, for you Northern Hemisphere dwellers, this awesome beauty can only be seen in the Southern Hemisphere.  This  is probably one of, if not the, largest diffuse nebula in our night sky.  It is four times larger and brighter than my personal favorite, the Orion Nebula.  It is estimated that the nebula lies between 6,500 and 10,000 light years from Earth.

The Carina Nebula

The Carina Nebula

What makes the new image so interesting is the extraordinary detail that can be seen in the small section of the nebula pictured above.  This structure is about two light years across.  It’s twisted and boiling composition is caused by raging solar winds and radiation from several young, hot massive stars.  The bottom half of the image clearly shows highly energetic jets emerging from a hidden infant start.  Think of it as cosmic colic!  These images were recently released by the Hubble Space Telescope and were made possible because of the newly installed Wide Field Camera 3.

Picture Credit: HST/NASA/ESA



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