The Carina nebula

Original plate printed without (left) and with an unsharp mask
Plate taken in red light with the UK Schmidt Telescope

The great nebula in Carina (NGC 3372) is one of the most spectacular in the southern sky. In common with many star-forming regions the brightness range in the image is large, and that, combined with the high contrast of photographic materials normally used in astronomy, makes printing difficult. A direct print (left) shows no detail in the brightest parts of the nebula, while the effect of the photographic (analogue) unsharp mask on the same original plate is seen at left. The prints from which this picture was made was first published in 1977. We also have a colour version of this field as well as more detailed AAT images AAT 9, AAT 32, AAT 37 and AAT 45, which shows the Homunculus nebula.

David Malin 2006 Jan 27