Eta Carinae Nebula

The Eta Carinae Nebula – a bright nebula visible to the naked eye in the Southern Hemisphere sky. It is even bigger and brighter than the much more celebrated Orion Nebula.

Object Details:

NGC 3372, Caldwell 92, Keyhole Nebula.
Constellation: Carina.
Visual magnitude: +1.0
Apparent diameter: 120 x 120 arc-min. (about 4×4 Lunar Diameters).
Actual diameter: 350 light years.
Distance: 10,000 light years.
Altitude: 36° above Southern Horizon.


Exposure: 17 x 1 min, ISO 4000 (+ 6 dark, 4 bias).
Date: 2018-01-18.
Location: Field night at The Oaks, NSW, with Macarthur Astronomical Society
Sky: semi-dark rural with metropolitan sky-glow between East and North.
Cloud:  clear.
Moon: No.
Processing: Canon DPP > Deep Sky Stacker > GIMP.
Cropping: no.

Imaging telescope: Skywatcher Esprit 120ED Super APO triplet refractor.
Focal length: 840 mm, focal ratio: f/7.
Imaging camera: Canon EOS 60D.
Guiding camera: Orion StarShoot.
Guiding control software: PHD2.
Guiding accuracy: 0.9″ rms approx.
Telescope mount: SkyWatcher EQ6-R.
Polar aligning: QHYCCD PoleMaster.
Polar alignment error: 11 arc-min.
Field flattener: yes; filter: no.
My gear.

Observing Notes:
This image would have benefited from a much longer total exposure and might also have improved with a lower ISO setting.

Image © R.Powell



  1. I didn’t realize Eta Carinae was bigger and brighter than Orion. I’ve never been to the Southern Hemisphere, unfortunately, and there are so many things I really want to see in the Southern Sky.

    Liked by 1 person

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