Eta Carinae

One of the Milky Way's most impressive star systems, about 8,000 light-years away in the southern constellation Carina. It probably consists of two stars, each of which is many times as massive as the Sun. The stars are surrounded by a thick, dusty nebula that makes it impossible to see one of the stars. The larger star is unstable and has erupted several times over the last few centuries, most recently in 1843, when it grew brighter than every other star in the night sky except Sirius. This star is expected to end its life as a supernova.

Featured Images

Hubble view of the Eta Carinae system
The Homunculus Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Hubble Space Telescope view of Eta Carinae
Future Fireworks Monday, June 16, 2014

Radio Programs

Homunculus Nebula A giant star blows giant bubbles Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Eta Carinae Impressive stellar siblings Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Eta Carinae III The spectacular death of a giant star Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Eta Carinae II Aggravating a supergiant star Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Eta Carinae Building up to a big eruption Monday, June 16, 2014


©2015 The University of Texas McDonald Observatory