Eta Carina, Keyhole Nebula, Trumpler 14


Shining like the eye of Sauron, the massive star Eta Carina is now in the final stages of its turbulent life toward becoming a supernova.  Stellar winds from the celestial giant howl over massive distances and  can be seen compressing shock waves of hydrogen gas that will trigger a new wave of star formation.  The nebula  abounds  in glowing filaments fluorescing gas: within this space bright rimmed Bok globules (The finger, The Caterpillar,  The Slug ) are energised by the harsh UV light from hot blue stars in a process not dissimilar to Las Vegas neon. This contrasts to dark silhouetted clouds of cold dust and molecules. The field is some 50 light years wide, and estimated to be 7500 light years from our Sun in the constellation of Carina.

Equipment set-up

Alluna Optics RC16 with FFC

Alluna Optics


SBIG STX16803 and FW5


Baader Planetarium

Baader HaLRGB filters


Takahashi Collimating telescope

Software Bisque

Paramount PMEII

Approx 4 hours of HaLRGB. Processing with MaxIm CCD, Pixinsight, Photoshop CS6

Copyright Peter J Ward 2016

Can you see all 26 grey scales above?