The outburst of Eta Carinae

Scanning up from the ground, past the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds and up the starlit band of the Milky Way, this animation shows a bright burst in the sky. About 200 years ago, the Eta Carinae system, containing two massive stars orbiting each other, underwent the “Great Eruption”. This was a violent outburst from the larger star, ejecting up to 40 solar masses of gas and dust. It became one of the brightest objects in the sky, visible to the naked human eye. This video recreates how this event might have been seen from Earth. This animation was originally produced for an ESO Chasing Starlight episode on the strangest stars in our Universe.


ESO/G. Brammer

About the Video

Release date:23 April 2024, 16:20
Duration:10 s
Frame rate:25 fps

About the Object

Type:Unspecified : Star : Grouping : Binary

Ultra HD (info)



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2.6 MB

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