Eta Carena 2017
(Click on the image for a larger view and zoom)
Eta Carena is a massive star with a history of spectacular flaring and fading behavior.
In April 1843 Eta Carena briefly became second only to Sirius as the brightest star in planet Earth's night sky,
even though at a distance of about 7,500 light-years, it is about 800 times farther away.
Eta Carena, seen near the center of this image, is surrounded by a complex and evolving nebula.
The wispy, convoluted filaments are clouds of dust glowing at Halpha wavelengths.
Astronomers hypothesize that Eta Carena itself will explode as a supernova in the next million years.
Massive Eta Carena is considered a candidate for a hypernova explosion and the potential source of
future gamma-ray bursts.
Imaged on 17 February 2017 by Jean-Yves Beninger from Singapore.
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