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VISTA captures huge Carina Nebula in all its infrared glory

29 August 2018 Astronomy Now

The European Observatory’s VISTA telescope captured this remarkably detailed view of the spectacular Carina Nebula, showing the vast star-forming region in infrared light with countless suns blazing through thin clouds of gas and dust, including the gigantic Eta Carinae binary system.

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Eta Carinae star system revealed in unprecedented detail

19 October 2016 Astronomy Now

An international team of astronomers have used the Very Large Telescope Interferometer to image the Eta Carinae star system in the greatest detail ever achieved. They found new and unexpected structures within the binary system, including in the area between the two stars where extremely high velocity stellar winds are colliding.

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The supernova that wasn’t: a tale of three cosmic eruptions

4 September 2016 Astronomy Now

Combining images taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope over more than 20 years, a team of researchers has discovered that Eta Carinae, a very massive star system that has puzzled astronomers since it erupted in a supernova-like event in the mid-19th century, has a past that’s much more violent than they thought.

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Space telescopes find “twins” of Eta Carinae in other galaxies

6 January 2016 Astronomy Now

Located about 7,500 light-years away in the southern constellation of Carina, Eta Carinae outshines our Sun by 5 million times. The binary system consists of two massive stars in a tight 5.5-year orbit, shrouded in an expanding veil of gas and dust from an enormous eruption seen in the 1840s. Now a study using archival data from NASA’s Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes has found five similar objects in other galaxies for the first time.

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Celebrating Hubble: A raging star

15 April 2015 Astronomy Now

As we celebrate 25 years of the Hubble Space Telescope, here’s another gem from the archives. The binary star system known as eta Carinae, part of the Trumpler 16 open cluster in the Carina Nebula.

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NASA’s unprecedented look at superstar Eta Carinae

8 January 2015 Astronomy Now

Eta Carinae is the most luminous and massive stellar system within 10,000 light-years of Earth. A long-term study led by astronomers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center used satellites, ground-based telescopes and theoretical modelling to produce the most comprehensive picture of Eta Carinae to date.