The Carina Nebula: Star Birth in the Extreme
Also known as the Great Nebula in Carina, or NGC 3372, the Carina Nebula is a large, bright nebula that surounds several open clusters of stars - such as Eta Carinae and HD 93129A, two of the most massive and luminous stars in the Milky Way galaxy. Carina is between 6,500 and 10,000 light years from Earth. It appears in the constellation of Carina, and is located in the Carina–Sagittarius Arm.
The Carina Nebula was discovered in 1751-1752 by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1751–52 from the Cape of Good Hope. The nebula is one of the largest diffuse nebulae in our skies. Although it is some four times as large and even brighter than the famous Orion Nebula, the Carina Nebula is much less well known, due to its location far in the Southern Hemisphere.