Astronomy Picture of the Day
Discover the cosmos!
Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is
featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional
July 12, 1995
Eta Carinae Before Explosion
Picture Credit: NASA, HST, WFPC2, J. Hester (ASU)
The star Eta Carinae, at the centre of the photo, will likely destroy
itself in a spectacular explosion in a few million years - or sooner!
Currently it is one of the brightest, most massive, and least stable
stars known. Much of the gas in this Hubble Space Telescope photograph
was blown off the star itself. Some of these gas clouds are similar in size
to our solar system. Astronomers cannot yet fully explain the motions
of the surrounding nebula, and continue to study this system.
the Space Telescope Scientific Institute's
String of pearls
| About APOD
Authors & editors:
NASA Technical Rep.:
Specific rights apply.
A service of:
Michigan Tech. U.