The Hubble Space Telescope has sent a new, more detailed photograph of the Carina Nebula – a huge cloud of dust and gas lying at a distance of 7,500 light-years from Earth. The photo was taken in December 2022. The new image shows not the entire nebula, but only a small part of it, because its full size is 300 light-years. Due to the huge size of the nebula, astronomers can study it only in parts, combining data from individual images to gain an understanding of the large-scale structure and composition of the nebula. If you live in the Southern Hemisphere of the Earth, you can see the Carina Nebula even with the naked eye.
The Carina Nebula is a nursery of stars. Stars are actively forming in clouds of gas and dust with explosive results. Young stars fan radioactive winds in all directions, causing the surrounding gas to glow. Some stars in the Carina Nebula grow 50 or 100 times larger than our Sun.
Scientists are studying structures such as the Carina Nebula to learn more about the birth, growth and death of stars. There is even a star in the nebula that may already be on the verge of its life – η Carinae HD 93129A. In fact, it is a system of two stars rotating close to each other. The system experienced a massive explosion more than 150 years ago, which briefly made it the brightest object in the night sky. But if other stars survived this explosion, it means that another bright event may occur later.
Earlier we reported on how Hubble captured the gravitational lens in the constellation Cetus.
According to Space
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