Release 739 of 1,087

Light and Shadow in the Carina Nebula

Release date: Feb 3, 2000 1:00 AM (EST)
Release type: Hubble Heritage

When 19th century astronomer Sir John Herschel spied a swirling cloud of gas with a hole punched through it, he dubbed it the Keyhole Nebula. Now the Hubble telescope has taken a peek at this region, and the resulting image reveals previously unseen details of the Keyhole's mysterious, complex structure. The Keyhole is part of a larger region called the Carina Nebula (NGC 3372), about 8,000 light-years from Earth.