“Like M42 on steroids!”

Eta Carina Nebula

The Eta Carina Nebula
By Rob Esson 

10B Graphite pencil on white sketch paper with blending stump. 18in f/4.5 Obsession
Dob with 17mm Nagler, giving a 0.7 degree field of view and magnification of 121x.
Sketched at the Deepest South Texas Star Party held at the Warrumbungles Mountain
Lodge in New South Wales, Australia on March 22, 2007.

I thought that I would follow up Jeremy Perez’ drawing of the Eta Carinae region
with binoculars (11/29/07) with a more detailed telescopic view. The Eta Carinae
region of nebulosity goes on – seemingly – for ever. This is merely a sketch around
the middle, and due to clouds coming in, is not as detailed as I might have liked if
I had had more time. The ‘blob’ about 2/3rds of the way towards about 12:30 on the
sketch is the Eta Carinae homunculus. Words are difficult to find to describe this
sight: it is probably the most impressive area in the sky. Although this sketch was
made using a Dob, binoculars or a wide field telescope are needed to take in the
nebula in its entirety. The Hubble pictures are no doubt fun to look at with all
their false colors, but the visual effect through the telescope, when the photons
are extinguishing on your own retinas as opposed to a ccd, is one of absolute
wonder: there are just numerous areas crying out to be examined in detail, like M42
on steroids!

Rob Esson, Kansas City MO


One thought on ““Like M42 on steroids!””

  1. Rob,

    Great job!
    There is nothing quite like visual observing and sketching at the eyepiece.

    Frank 🙂

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