Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/M. Povich (Penn State Univ.)
We are used to seeing a rainbow of colors when we gaze out into the universe. But light beyond the range of our eyes is no less beautiful as we see in this image of Eta Carinae from NASA‘s Spitzer Space Telescope.
Explore the subtle reds and blues in this image surrounding one of the most massive stars in the Milky Way. What shapes and pictures do you see in this star cloud? Leave a note below.
The region surrounding Eta Carinae is a giant star-making factory. Sometimes pockets of hydrogen gas and dust form pockets. Gravity pulls this star-stuff together. If enough material comes together, a star may be born. In these vast clouds, giant stars can be born. Eta Carinae is one of them. It is 100 times heavier and a million times brighter than our own Sun. Eta Carinae is the bright star in the upper center of this image. Surrounding the star is a bubble of gas and dust that is being pushed away by strong winds and blistering radiation.
Blue areas in the image are regions of transparent gas and dust. We see these regions in normal, visible light. Red, orange and green areas are usually hidden from view by dark clouds of dust.
Eta Carinae is found about 10,000 light-years from Earth toward the constellation of Carina, the Keel of the mythological ship Argo Navis.