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Carina Nebula


This image shows a giant star-forming region in the southern sky known as the Carina Nebula (NGC 3372), combining the light from 3 different filters tracing emission from oxygen (blue), hydrogen (green), and sulphur (red). The color is also representative of the temperature in the ionized gas: blue is relatively hot and red is cooler. The Carina Nebula is a good example of how very massive stars rip apart the molecular clouds that give birth to them. The bright star near the center of the image is Eta Carinae, which is one of the most massive and luminous stars known. This picture is a composite of several exposures made with the Curtis-Schmidt telescope at the Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory (CTIO) in Chile.

More about this Image
The CTIO provides qualified scientists with telescopes and related facilities for astronomical research in the Southern Hemisphere. CTIO has offices, laboratories, and living quarters in the coastal city of La Serena, Chile, 482 kilometers north of Santiago. The observing facilities are on Cerro Tololo, a 2,194-meter mountain on the western slopes of the Andes, 64 kilometers inland from La Serena.

CTIO operates the 4-meter Blanco telescope, which is a near twin to the 4-meter Mayall at Kitt Peak, and a general-purpose 1.5-meter reflector. These telescopes are equipped with instruments similar to those at KPNO. Several other telescopes operated by U.S. universities are also located on Cerro Tololo. A new technology 4-meter telescope (Southern Observatory for Astrophysical Research–SOAR) is under construction on nearby Cerro Pachon. CTIO is one of several observatories that make up the National Optical Astronomy Observatories (NOAO), a national center for research in ground-based optical and infrared astronomy, supported by National Science Foundation.

This image is owned by NOAO/AURO. The materials created, authored and/or prepared by NOAO are copyrighted in content, presentation, and intellectual or creative origin. Use of NOAO/AURA images constitutes acceptance of these guidelines.

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Electronic products such as images and captions created and/or prepared by NOAO are copyrighted in content, presentation, and intellectual origin. These electronically available materials are considered intellectual property and are intended for use for educational, academic, and research purposes and are not intended for commercial use. Electronic versions of images are protected by copyright as intellectual property unless noted otherwise.

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Any use of NOAO images should include the following credit statement: "National Optical Astronomy Observatory/Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy/National Science Foundation" or "NOAO/AURA/NSF". Additional credit lines may be required for specific images.

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Personal, Non-Profit Use: NOAO allows reproduction, authorship of derivative works, and other transformations of the original work strictly for personal, non-profit/non-commercial/non-retail use without further permission, subject to the second paragraph under II.B. and the General Conditions section stated above. Some examples of personal, non-profit/non-commercial/non-retail uses are downloading images for personal posters or screensavers or as gifts for friends and relatives.

Carina Nebula
(Preview Only)

Credit: Credit Nathan Smith, University of Minnesota/NOAO/AURA/NSF
Decade of Image: Unknown



Formats Available:

JPEG Format - 1.9M - 1050 x 634 pixel image - 150 DPI

Sorry! This image is not available in a higher resolution.


See “NOAO/AURA CONDITIONS OF USE,” under caption (above).

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Last Modified: Mar 29, 2001