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Animations: Visualization Explores A Massive Star's Great Eruption
Eta Carinae: The Great Eruption of a Massive Star
Video Credit: J. Olmsted, D. Player, L. Hustak, A. Pagan, J. DePasquale, G. Bacon, F. Summers (STScI), R. Hurt (Caltech/IPAC), NASA, ESA; Music: "Interstellar Wanderer", Joseph DePasquale, CC BY-NC 4.0;
Image Credit: A. Fujii, J. Morse (BoldlyGo Inst), N. Smith (U Arizona), Hubble SM4 ERO Team, NASA, ESA, STScI, JPL-Caltech, CXC, ESO, NOAO, AURA, NSF

[Runtime: 04:35]

Eta Carinae, or Eta Car, is famous for a brilliant and unusual outburst, called the "Great Eruption," observed in the 1840s. This visualization presents the story of that event and examines the resulting multiwavelength emissions and three-dimensional structures surrounding Eta Car today.

Massive stars are known to have major outbursts. Eta Car, one of the most massive stars known, expelled about 10% of its mass in the Great Eruption, creating a small nebula, called the Homunculus Nebula, around it. Images taken in different wavelengths of light reveal different structures, each providing more information about the outbursts of Eta Car.

For this visualization, astronomers and artists have used NASA observations to model both the close-up and wide views of this massive and eruptive star. The Hubble Space Telescope and the Chandra X-ray Observatory have observed the nested layers of gas and dust around Eta Car using visible, ultraviolet, and X-ray light, as well as in the Hydrogen alpha emission line. The Spitzer Space Telescope provides a larger view of the Carina Nebula, along with Eta Car's dominant position within this star-forming region.

This visualization is presented by the AstroViz Project of NASA's Universe of Learning. Viewers gain appreciation for how the observations from two centuries ago connect to the resulting structures seen today. Full 360-degree 3D views help to assemble a complete mental model that aids interpretation of the NASA observations. Eta Car serves as a notable example of the outbursts in the dying stages of massive stars.



Eta Carinae Sonification
Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO/K.Arcand, SYSTEM Sounds (M. Russo, A. Santaguida)
[Runtime: 00:44]

This sonification translates the three-dimensional model of Eta Carinae as it spins around in the center. Data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope are played first, with optical light followed by ultraviolet light, before moving to emission from hydrogen atoms, and then finally X-rays from Chandra. Each type of light is layered into the one before it, until the last piece of the sonification becomes a chorus of light and sound.



Eta Carinae: 2D Images to 3D Models
Video Credit: J. Olmsted, D. Player, L. Hustak, A. Pagan, J. DePasquale, G. Bacon, F. Summers (STScI), R. Hurt (Caltech/IPAC), NASA, ESA; Music: "Sleepy Frieda", Maarten Schellekens, CC BY-NC 4.0;
Image Credit: A. Fujii, J. Morse (BoldlyGo Inst), N. Smith (U Arizona), Hubble SM4 ERO Team, NASA, ESA, STScI, JPL-Caltech, CXC, ESO, NOAO, AURA, NSF

[Runtime: 01:48]

This visualization showcases the multiwavelength emissions and three-dimensional structures surrounding Eta Carinae, one of the most massive and eruptive stars in our galaxy.

Two of NASA's Great Observatories, the Hubble Space Telescope and the Chandra X-ray Observatory, have observed Eta Carinae using visible, ultraviolet, and X-ray light, as well as in the Hydrogen alpha emission line. These 2D portraits have been modelled by astronomers and artists to create a 3D visualization that brings the telescope images to life.

The sequence presents the layered model one wavelength region at a time, and builds up the complex nested structure. The viewer gets a full 360-degree view and can assemble a complete mental model that aids interpretation of the NASA observations.



Eta Carinae: 3D Models
Video Credit: J. Olmsted, D. Player, L. Hustak, A. Pagan, J. DePasquale, G. Bacon, F. Summers (STScI), R. Hurt (Caltech/IPAC), NASA, ESA; Music: "Sleepy Frieda", Maarten Schellekens, CC BY-NC 4.0;
Image Credit: A. Fujii, J. Morse (BoldlyGo Inst), N. Smith (U Arizona), Hubble SM4 ERO Team, NASA, ESA, STScI, JPL-Caltech, CXC, ESO, NOAO, AURA, NSF

[Runtime: 01:26]

This visualization showcases the multiwavelength emissions and three-dimensional structures surrounding Eta Carinae, one of the most massive and eruptive stars in our galaxy.

Two of NASA's Great Observatories, the Hubble Space Telescope and the Chandra X-ray Observatory, have observed Eta Carinae using visible, ultraviolet, and X-ray light, as well as in the Hydrogen alpha emission line. These 3D visualizations have been modelled by astronomers and artists to bring the telescope images to life.



Tour: Visualization Explores A Massive Star's Great Eruption
(Credit: NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)
[Runtime: 02:25]

With closed-captions (at YouTube)

Eta Carinae is famous for a brilliant and unusual outburst, called the "Great Eruption", observed in the 1840s. Since 1999 astronomers have been using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to reveal new information about the nature of Eta Carinae and through the X-rays in generates.

A new visualization presents the story of that event and examines the resulting multiwavelength emissions and three-dimensional structures surrounding Eta Carinae today. For this visualization, astronomers and artists have used NASA observations from three different telescopes — Chandra, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the Spitzer Space Telescope — to model both the close-up and wide views of this massive and eruptive star. Data from different wavelengths of light reveal different structures, each providing more information about the outbursts of Eta Carinae.

Massive stars are known to have major outbursts. Eta Cariane is one of the most massive stars astronomers know about. It expelled about 10% of its mass in the Great Eruption, creating a small nebula called the Homunculus Nebula around it.

This visualization is presented by the AstroViz Project of NASA's Universe of Learning. Viewers gain appreciation for how the observations from two centuries ago connect to the resulting structures seen today. Full 360-degree 3D views help to assemble a complete mental model that aids interpretation of the NASA observations. Eta Car serves as a notable example of the outbursts in the dying stages of massive stars. The 3D models in the visualization are a combination of science knowledge and artistic license.

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center manages the Chandra program. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory's Chandra X-ray Center controls science operations from Cambridge, Massachusetts, and flight operations from Burlington, Massachusetts.



Quick Look: Visualization Explores A Massive Star's Great Eruption
(Credit: NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)
[Runtime: 00:45]

Eta Carinae contains one of the biggest and brightest stars in our Galaxy.

Different telescopes reveal different pieces of information about this system.

A new 3D model of Eta Carinae is based on data from three NASA telescopes.

Chandra, Hubble, and Spitzer data were used for this visualization.




Return to: Visualization Explores A Massive Star's Great Eruption (January 25, 2022)