Eta Carainae – A Puzzling Star On Its Way To Hypernova

© 1999 by Linda Moulton Howe

June 11, 1999  Minneapolis, Minnesota ­ Over the past year, a star in the Caraina Constellation of the Southern Hemisphere has doubled in brightness. How a star that is 7,500 light years away from earth could brighten so dramatically baffles astronomers. In fact, of all the stars that can be seen with the naked eye from earth - none are as mysterious and confusing as Eta Carinae. If you live in southern Texas, southern Florida or Hawaii, you can barely see the star peeking up a little above the horizon straight south in June. It has a reddish-orange color and was completely invisible to the naked eye only a few years ago.

Photo Credit: Jon Morse, Ph.D., Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy and NASA, University of Colorado, Boulder.
Photo Credit: Jon Morse, Ph.D., Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy and NASA, University of Colorado, Boulder.

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© 1998 - 2018 by Linda Moulton Howe.
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