Object Eta Carina & the NGC 3372 Nebula (Keyhole)

 Eta Carina is a peculiar nova like variable star embedded in the NGC 3372 nebula. In the past it has fluctuated erratically in brightness, reaching a maximum of mag. -1 in 1843when it was temporarily the second brightest star in the sky. It is now around mag. 6. The star is approximated at over 100 times more massive and 4 million times the luminosity than our own sun. It's surrounded by dust and gas ejected from the 1843 outburst. It is watched closely by astronomers having had some irregular fluctuations in brightness recently being a classic candidate for a future super nova. It is located approx. 9000l.y. away in the southern constellation of Carina.  

Date Ha 26/12/07 & rgb 10/ 1/ 08
Location BayTop Observatory- Streaky Bay South Australia
Instrument Home built 10" Newtonian (Bob Royce primary) and an Antares 1/20th wave secondary with MPCC coma corrector. System working @ native f4/ 1016 FL  1.35 arcsec/pixel- FOV  23.3x29.4
Mount Celestron CI700 controlled by a Mel Bartels Goto Control System with Vexta PK264m-01b motors with a pulley and belt system
Camera (CCD) Starlight Xpress HX916 monochrome CCD with Atik manual filter wheel.
Exposures L: 73' R:16' G:16' B:16'  (50" sub exposures all unbinned)     No dark frames removed.
Guiding  Unguided exposures
Filters Astronomik Ha 13uM & type II RGB filter set
Notes/ Conditions

 Conditions- On the night when taking the Ha frames, seeing and transparency were average due to gusty wing conditions and dust. When taking the RGB channels, this was the first night where there was no salt and dust laden dew since the last moon quarter. Seeing and transparency was average to poor.

Ha to red channel blend for luminance combined with a HaRedto the rgb.