Contact: Robert Sanders
University of California - Berkeley
Caption: An artist's conception of the fast blast wave from Eta Carinae's 1843 eruption, which today has caught up with a slow-moving shell ejected in a previous outburst about 1,000 years ago, producing a bright fireworks display that heats the older shell and makes it emit X-rays (orange). The well-known two-lobed "Homunculus" nebula, a slow-moving shell of gas and dust also produced in the 1843 eruption, is shown closer to the star, which is a hot blue supergiant.
Credit: Gemini Observatory artwork by Lynette Cook
Usage Restrictions: None
Related news release: 1843 stellar eruption may be new type of star explosion