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New astronomical visualization shows Eta Carinae’s supermassive stellar outburst

New astronomical visualization shows Eta Carinae’s supermassive stellar outburst

Astronomers have created a 3D visualization for Eta Carinae. This supermassive star was erupting around 150 years ago. This new model is based on multi-wavelength observations made with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra X-ray Observatory and NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. It provides more details about the outbursts from the supermassive star in the Milky Way galaxy.

Eta Carinae, located approximately 7,500 light-years from Earth in the southern constellation Carina, is known for its unusual outburst. It was seen in the 1840s and made it the second brightest star in the sky. NASA reports that the star produced as much visible light in a supernova explosion as it did during the outburst, but it survived and slowly faded away over the next fifty decades.

NASA’s Universe of Learning now offers a new astronomical visualization. It shows the multiwavelength emissions from infrared through Xrays, and the three-dimensional structures surrounding the supermassive, violent star.

A team of astronomers, artists, and scientists from the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland created the visualization to show the hourglass shape and clouds of glowing gas surrounding Eta Carinae.

“The team did such a great job representing the volumetric layer that viewers can immediately and intuitively grasp the complex structure around Eta Car. Frank Summers, principal visualization scientist at STScI, and project leader, said that we can tell the story of The Great Eruption in 3D.

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You can view the video “Eta Carinae – The Great Eruption of A Massive Star” on NASA Hubble Site.

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