In one of the brightest parts of Milky Way [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap050605.html ] lies a nebula where some of the oddest things occur. NGC 3372, known as the Great Nebula in Carina [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap040517.html ], is home to massive stars and changing nebula. Eta Carinae [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap060326.html ], the most energetic star in the nebula, was one of the brightest stars in the sky in the 1830s, but then faded dramatically. The Keyhole Nebula, visible left the center [ http://heritage.stsci.edu/2007/16/supplemental.html ], houses several of the most massive stars known and has also changed its appearance. The entire Carina Nebula [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carina_Nebula ] spans over 300 light years [ http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/cosmic_distance.html ] and lies about 7,500 light-years away in the constellation [ http://www.astronomical.org/portal/modules/wfsection/article.php?articleid=17 ] of Carina. Pictured above [ http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2007/16/image/a/ ] is the most detailed image [ http://heritage.stsci.edu/2007/16/index.html ] of the Carina Nebula ever taken. The controlled color [ http://heritage.stsci.edu/2007/16/original.html ] image [ http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/html/heic0707a.html ] is a composite of 48 high-resolution frames taken by the Hubble Space Telescope [ http://www.stsci.edu/hst/HST_overview/ ] and released to honor its 17th anniversary. Wide-field annotated [ http://heritage.stsci.edu/2007/16/supplemental.html ] and zoomable [ http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2007/16/image/a/format/zoom/ ] image versions are also available.
NASA [ http://www.nasa.gov/ ], ESA [ http://www.esa.int/ ], N. Smith [ http://heritage.stsci.edu/2007/16/bio/bio_primary.html ] (U. California, Berkeley [ http://astro.berkeley.edu/ ]) et al. [ http://heritage.stsci.edu/2007/16/bio/bio_primary.html ], and The Hubble Heritage Team [ http://heritage.stsci.edu/commonpages/infoindex/ourproject/moreproject.html ] (STScI [ http://www.stsci.edu/institute/ ]/AURA [ http://www.aura-astronomy.org/ ])