The Astronomy Connection

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The name and logo of Eta Carina Ltd. was born out of my interest in Astronomy. Ancient Astronomers label the stars of each constellations with the Greek alphabet in order of their brilliance. One of my favorite stars to view is in the constellation Carina. It is label Eta. Listed below is some details about the star.

  • RA 10:44; Dec -59:52 (Carina)
  • Distance: 9,000 ly
  • Type: emission
  • The Eta Carina Nebula is the largest diffuse nebula in the sky, much larger than the more famous Orion Nebula; that it is not better known is no doubt due to the fact that it is not visible from most of the Northern Hemisphere.
  • The star Eta Carina itself is also interesting. It is a variable star; in the mid-19th century it was the second brightest star in the sky; today it is not even visible with the naked eye. It is an extremely large star (150 times the mass of the Sun and 4 million times brighter). Such large stars are very unstable. Eta Carina's most recent outburst in 1841 expelled the gas that creates the spectacular nebula (sometimes called the Homunculus Nebula) that we see today. The bright lobes of the nebula are about the same size as our whole solar system.
Eta in NGC3324
Eta in Eta Carina Nebula NGC3372
The photo on the left hand side below is one I took using an old Pentax Spotmatic camera with a 128mm lens. It is a large part of Carina but not the entire constellation. Missing is the brightest star, Alpha Carina (Canopus) which was to the right of this photo. The photo on the right is a magnified view of the Nebula NGC3324. Eta is actually buried in the Nebula NGC3324. Iíve included an insert with the Nebula and star circled from the photo on the left. The bright yellowish star is Eta, which is shrouded in nebula gases.
Carina Constellation
Carina Constellation
Eta in NGC3324
Eta in Nebula NGC3324
Magnified further still is the Homunculus Nebula with Eta Carina in the center. Eta Carina's most recent outburst in 1841 expelled the gas that creates this spectacular nebula. This nebula appears as the yellowish star seen in the photo above on the right hand side. Notice that the three stars lower right hand side can not be seen in the photo above. They are obscured by the gases of the nebula.
Eta Carina
Eta Carina in the Homunculus Nebula
Eta Carina Badge Carina is the Greek word for Keel. Carina is the keel of the ship Argo Navis which is the ship Jason and his companions sailed upon in their expedition to remove the Golden Fleece of the sacred ram (Aries) from its grove. The surrounding constellations Vela (sails) and Puppis (poop deck) make up the other parts of Argo. Seeing how I put ten years in the United States Navy I thought it appropriate that I choose this Constellation in the Southern Hemisphere which is where I now live. Looking at Eta Carina Ltdís Logo then you can see the keel, poop deck and sails featured. Notice what looks to be a big Ďní on the main sail. Thats the Greek alphabet Eta. The Water is represented by two wavy lines, the symbol for Aquarius, the star sign I was born under. The Logo was done in the colors red, white and blue for obvious reasons but after experimenting with different graphic effects the colors sort of faded away. And thatís how I came up with my logo.

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This page was last updated on 8 December 1999