The Eta Carinae Nebula

Near Eta Carinae, the bright star at bottom left, telescopes show a dark and bulbous cloud of dust called the Keyhole, silhouetted against the nebula.

features of interest alpha (a) CARINAE (CANopUS) 2 A white supergiant of magnitude -0.6, the second-brightest star in the entire sky. It lies 310 light-years away.

NGC 2516 2 K A large open cluster visible to the naked eye. It appears cross-shaped through binoculars.

NGC 3372 (the eta CARINAE NEBULA) 2 K 5 S 3 A patch of glowing gas, four apparent Moon diameters wide, visible to the eye against the background of the Milky Way and well seen with binoculars. The brightest part of the nebula is around the peculiar variable star Eta (n) Carinae. During the 19th century, Eta Carinae flared up temporarily to become brighter than Canopus, although it has now subsided to around 5th magnitude.

NGC 3532 2 K An elongated cluster that makes an excellent sight through binoculars.

IC 2602 (THE SoUTHERN pLEIADES) 2 K An open cluster with several stars visible to the naked eye, the brightest of them being 3rd-magnitude Theta (0) Carinae.

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