Light and Shadow in the Carina Nebula, 2 March 2000.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 32cm

Light and Shadow in the Carina Nebula, 2 March 2000.

© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society


Previously unseen details of a mysterious, complex structure within the Carina Nebula (NGC 3372) are revealed by this image of the "Keyhole Nebula," obtained with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The picture is a montage asembled from four different April 1999 telescope pointings with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, which used six different color filters. The picture is dominated by a large, approximately circular feature, which is part of the Keyhole Nebula, named in the 19th century by Sir John Herschel. This region, about 8000 light-years from Earth, is located adjacent to the famous explosive variable star Eta Carinae, which lies just outside the field of view toward the upper right.

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