NGC 3372 Eta Carina Nebula; Carina
Astro-Physics 155 EDF (155TCC) f/5.4 refractor
KAF-16803; FLI Proline
Total Exposure Time: 13.5+ hours; SHO-RGB 260:240:260:-18:18:18 minutes, unbinned (RGB used for stars)
February 2009; RDO, Moorook, AU
Comments: The Carina Nebula (also known as the Great Nebula in Carina, the Eta Carinae Nebula, or NGC 3372) is a large bright nebula that surrounds several open clusters of stars. Eta Carinae and HD 93129A, two of the most massive and luminous stars in our Milky Way galaxy, are among them. The nebula lies at an estimated distance between 6,500 and 10,000 light years from Earth. It is located in the constellation of Carina. The nebula contains multiple O-type stars. This nebula is one of the largest H II regions in the Milky Way. It has a visual magnitude of 1.0. The nebula is one of the largest diffuse nebulae in our skies. Although it is some four times as large and even brighter than the famous Orion Nebula, the Carina Nebula is much less well known, due to its location far in the Southern Hemisphere. It was discovered by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1751-52 from the Cape of Good Hope (Ref). This is an amazingly bright nebula. Here is the RGB image taken just for the star color. Remember, this image is just 18 minutes per filter, or 48 minutes total exposure time!
This image was chosen "Highly Commended" in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2009 competition at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.