Researchers found likely twins of the giant, erupting star Eta Carinae in four galaxies by comparing the infrared and optical brightness of each candidate source. Infrared images from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope revealed the presence of warm dust surrounding the stars. Comparing this information with the brightness of each source at optical and near-infrared wavelengths as measured by instruments on Hubble, the team was able to identify candidate Eta Carinae-like objects. Top: 3.6-micron images of candidate "Eta twins" from Spitzer's IRAC instrument.
At bottom are 800-nanometer images of the same sources from various Hubble Space Telescope instruments.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, manages the Spitzer Space Telescope mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Spacecraft operations are based at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Littleton, Colorado. Data are archived at the Infrared Science Archive housed at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at Caltech. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.
For more information about Spitzer, visit http://www.nasa.gov/spitzer.
For images and more information about Hubble, visit http://www.nasa.gov/hubble.