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Posted by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

What's happening in the core of the Carina Nebula? Stars are forming, dying, and leaving an impressive tapestry of dark dusty filaments. The entire Carina Nebula, cataloged as NGC 3372, spans over 300 light years and lies about 8,500 light-years away in the constellation of Carina. The nebula is composed predominantly of hydrogen gas, which emits the pervasive red and orange glows seen mostly in the center of this highly detailed featured image. The blue glow around the edges is created primarily by a trace amount of glowing oxygen. Young and massive stars located in the nebula's center expel dust when they explode in supernovas. Eta Carinae, the most energetic star in the nebula's center, was one of the brightest stars in the sky in the 1830s, but then faded dramatically. Your Sky Surprise: What picture did APOD feature on your birthday? (post 1995)

Photo by Carlos Taylor

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