Carina

Tuesday 19 September 2017 - 08:01:21 Posted by  Bobby
carina2

 Mythology of Carina

Carina is an impressive constellation, containing the second brightest star of all, Canopus, and lying in a rich part of the Milky Way. In Greek times, it formed part of a much larger constellation, Argo Navis, representing the ship of the Argonauts, but was made separate in the 18th century by the Frenchman Nicolas Louis de Lacaille. It represents the ship's keel, with Canopus marking the rudder. The other parts of the ship - Vela (the sails) and Puppis (the stern) - lie to the north of Carina.

 The Facts

  • Depiction: The Keel
  • Pronounced: ka-REEN-uh
  • Genitive: Carinae
  • Abbreviation: Car
  • Highest in the Sky: January to April
  • Size Ranking: 34th
  • Coverage Area: 494 Sq. Degrees
  • Right Acension: 9 hours
  • Declination: -60°
  • Visibility: 15°N to 90°S

 Notable Objects

  • IC 2220: Reflection Nebula
  • IC 2501: Planetary Nebula
  • IC 2581: Binary star system
  • IC 2602: The Southern Pleiades
  • NGC 2516: Open star cluster
  • NGC 2609: Binary star
  • NGC 2808: Globular star cluster
  • NGC 2867: Planetary nebula
  • NGC 3293: Open star cluster
  • NGC 3314: Spiral galaxy
  • NGC 3532: Open star cluster
  • NGC 3372: Eta Carinae Nebula

 Named Stars

  • Canopus, Alpha Carinae
  • Miaplacidus, Beta Carinae
  • Avior, Epsilon Carinae
  • Aspidiske, Iota Carinae

 Best Viewed Objects/Stars

Alpha Carinae (Canopus)

 The second brightest star in the sky, at magnitude -0.6. It is a white supergiant, 14,000 times more luminous than our Sun, lying 310 light-years away.

Eta Carinae

 A remarkable variable star. Currently it is of 5th magnitude, but it has been much brighter in the past, most noticeably in the 19th century when it flared up to nearly -1. Eta Carinae is thought to be either a supergiant with a mass of 100 Suns, one of the most massive stars known, or possibly a massive binary. Through a telescope it appears as a hazy orange ellipse, because of matter thrown off in its last outburst. Its distance is estimated at over 8,000 light-years, and it lies within the extensive nebula NGC 3372.

NGC 2516

 An open cluster, visible to the naked eye. Using binoculars, it is possible to pick out its individual stars, the brightest being a 5th-magnitude red giant, scattered over an area of the sky the size of the full Moon. It is about 1,300 light-years away.

NGC 3114

 An open cluster, visible to the naked eye and appearing about the same as the disk of the full Moon. Its individual stars can be seen through binoculars. It lies nearly 3,000 light-years away.

NGC 3372 (The Eta Carinae Nebula)

 A large, bright diffuse, nebula, four times the apparent width of the full Moon, surrounding the star Eta Carinae. The nebula is visible to the naked eye against the Milky Way and its best seen with binoculars. A V-shaped lane of dark dust runs through it. Near Eta Carinae itself, telescopes show a dark and bulbous cloud of dust called Keyhole Nebula.

NGC 3532

 A bright and dense open cluster, elliptical in shape. It is visible to the naked eye and is a glorious sight through binoculars, being nearly twice the apparent diameter of the full Moon at its widest. It is 1,300 lights-years away.

IC 2602 (The Southern Pleiades)

 A large and prominent open cluster, containing 8 stars brighter than magnitude 6. The brightest member is Theta Carinae, a blue-white star of magnitude 2.7. The cluster appears twice the size of the full Moon and lies about 500 light years away.

Carina
carina

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