Extreme Star Birth in Carina Nebula
Hubble's view of the Carina Nebula shows star birth at a new level of detail. The landscape of the nebula is sculpted by the action of outflowing winds and scorching ultraviolet radiation from the monster stars that inhabit this inferno. In the process, these stars are shredding the surrounding material that is the last remains of the giant cloud from which the stars were born.
The immense nebula is an estimated 7500 light-years away in the southern constellation Carina the Keel (of the old southern constellation Argo Navis, the ship of Jason and the Argonauts, from Greek mythology).
The massive and bright variable star eta Carinae with its destinctive two lobes of expelled material can be seen as the yellow bright patch at left in the middle of this view.
This image is a mosaic of the Carina Nebula assembled from 48 frames taken with Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys and spans 50 light-years across. The Hubble images were taken in the light of ionized hydrogen. Colour information was added with data taken at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. Red corresponds to sulphur, green to hydrogen, and blue to oxygen emission.
The original full sized version of the mosaic (29566 x 14321 pixel) can be downloaded in jpg (200 Mb) and tif (513 Mb) format from the related links on the right hand side.