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Eta Carinae, Chandra X-ray
(Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO)

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Eta Carinae:
Shocking Detail of Superstar's Activity Revealed

Eta Carinae

Eta Carinae is the most luminous star known in our galaxy. It radiates energy at a rate that is 5 million times that of the Sun. Observations indicate that Eta Carinae is an unstable star that is rapidly boiling matter off its surface. Some astronomers think that it could explode as a supernova any time! At a distance of 7,000 light years from Earth, this gigantic explosion would pose no threat to life but it would be quite a show.

Multi-wavelength Images: (*Images not to scale)
Eta Carinae - X-ray NASA/CXC/SAO
Jpg (50 k)
Tiff (3.5 M)
PS (1.6 M)
Eta Carinae - optical NASA/HST/
J. Morse/K. Davidson

JPG (252 k)
Tiff (4.4 M)
PS (3.4 M)
Eta Carinae- infrared E. Polomski, U. Florida/CTIO
Jpg (78 k)
Tiff (1.8 M)
PS (1.0 M)
Eta Carinae- radioATCA
(S. White el al)

Jpg (25 k)
Tiff (869 k)
PS (3.4 M)

Fast Facts for Eta Carinae:
Scale  Image is 100 arcsec across.
Category  Normal Stars & Star Clusters
Coordinates (J2000)  RA 10h 45m 04s | Dec -59° 41' 03"
Constellation  Carina
Observation Dates  September 6, 1999
Observation Time  3 hours
Obs. IDs  50
Color Code  Both - Thermal and Intensity
Instrument  ACIS
Distance Estimate  7,500 light years
Release Date  October 08, 1999