Carina Nebula western wall (with adaptive optics)

A 50-trillion-km (33-trillion-mile, or 5 light-year) long section of the western wall in the Carina Nebula, as observed with adaptive optics on the Gemini South telescope. This mountainous section of the nebula reveals a number of unusual structures including a long series of parallel ridges that could be produced by a magnetic field, a remarkable almost perfectly smooth wave, and fragments that appear to be in the process of being sheared off the cloud by a strong wind. There is also evidence for a jet of material ejected from a newly-formed star. The exquisite detail seen in the image is in part due to a technology known as adaptive optics, which resulted in a ten-fold improvement in the resolution of the research team’s observations.

Credit:

International Gemini Observatory/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA

Acknowledgment: 

PI: Patrick Hartigan (Rice University)

Image processing: Patrick Hartigan (Rice University), Travis Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage), Mahdi Zamani & Davide de Martin

About the Image

Id:noirlab2025a
Type:Observation
Release date:Oct. 5, 2020, 6 a.m.
Related releases:noirlab2025
Size:2954 x 1576 px

About the Object

Name:Carina Nebula
Constellation:Carina
Category:Nebulae

Image Formats

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1.2 MB
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Coordinates

Position (RA):10 43 30.60
Position (Dec):-59° 35' 19.89"
Field of view:2.88 x 1.54 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 90.0° right of vertical


Colors & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Infrared
H I Brγ
2.166 μmGemini South
GSAOI
Infrared
H2(1-0) S(1)
2.248 μmGemini South
GSAOI