The Toby Jug Nebula in the constellation of Carina

The Toby Jug Nebula in the constellation of Carina - Culture's Ways

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IC 2220, also known as the Toby Jug Nebula, is a reflection nebula located 1200 light years away in the southern constellation of Carina.


What is the constellation of Carina?

Carina is a constellation in the southern sky. Its name is Latin for the keel of a ship, and it was formerly part of the larger constellation of Argo Navis (the ship Argo) until that constellation was divided into three pieces, the other two being Puppis (the poop deck), and Vela (the sails of the ship).

History and Mythologie

Carina was once a part of Argo Navis, the great ship of Jason and the Argonauts who searched for the Golden Fleece. The constellation of Argo was introduced in ancient Greece. However, Nicolas Louis de Lacaille divided Argo into three sections in 1763, including Carina the Keel. In the 19th century, these three became established as separate constellations, and were formally included in the list of 88 modern IAU constellations in 1930. Lacaille kept a single set of Bayer designations for the whole of Argo. 


Carina contains Canopus, a white-hued supergiant that is the second brightest star in the night sky at magnitude −0.72, 313 light-years from Earth. Alpha Carinae, as Canopus is formally designated, is a variable star that varies by approximately 0.1 magnitudes. Its traditional name comes from the mythological Canopus, who was a navigator for Menelaus, king of Sparta.

Eta Carinae is the most prominent variable star in Carina; with a mass of approximately 100 solar masses and 4 million times as bright as the Sun. It was first discovered to be unusual in 1677, when its magnitude suddenly rose to 4, attracting the attention of Edmond Halley. Eta Carinae is inside NGC 3372, commonly called the Carina Nebula.

Image: ESO
Text: Wikipedia contributors. “IC 2220.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 26 Nov. 2014. Web. 9 Aug. 2017.

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