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Gum 31 - a part of NGC 3372 -the large Eta Carinae Complex

Description of object:

The emission nebula Gum 31 can be found directly northwest of the well-known Eta Carinae Nebula and is usually visible just on the edge within overview pictures of the region. This interesting nebula bubble is ionized by the hot stars of the star cluster NGC 3324, slightly to the right of the nebulas center.

The brightest star in the picture, HD 92207, is a supergiant of the spectral class A with a mass of almost 30 sun masses. HD 92207 is located in a nebula shell of Gum 31 which is most probably responsible for the blue reflection part directly south (left in the picture) of the star. Its temperature however is not high enough to ionize the gas nebula.

The distance to Gum 31 is being declared as 7500 light years. With an apparent diameter of 15 arc minutes in the sky the absolute diameter is 30 light years. The visible field of view equates to about the size of the area of the half moon.

The picture on the left shows the position of GUM 31 within the Eta Carina complex. It is a mosaic of 5 segments and was also shot in Rooisand in 2009. The telescope used was a 6'' Zeiss APQ with AP Reducer at f = 900mm.

« Load the high-res picture (2200 x 1500 Pixel). Additional picture information available here.

A detailed shot of the lower right edge of the nebula bubble was made by the Hubble space telescope and is available here

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