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Eta Carinae

One of the Milky Way’s most impressive star systems, about 8,000 light-years away in the southern constellation Carina. It probably consists of two stars, each of which is many times as massive as the Sun. The stars are surrounded by a thick, dusty nebula that makes it impossible to see one of the stars. The larger star is unstable and has erupted several times over the last few centuries, most recently in 1843, when it grew brighter than every other star in the night sky except Sirius. This star is expected to end its life as a supernova.

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Hubble view of the Eta Carinae system

The Homunculus October 21, 2015