Eta Carinae (Homunculus Nebula)

Location:  Constellation Carina
Coordinates:  10 45 03.546 -59 41 03.95
Distance: 7500 ly

Mainstream description
Binary stellar system comprised of a massive luminous blue variable (LBV) star of 120 solar masses and a supergiant of 30 solar masses. The system is considered to be very unstable and has varied considerably in light output since its initial observation over three centuries ago. It emits variable infrared, ultraviolet and X-ray radiation and appears to be shedding large amounts of gas and dust via its bipolar lobes. It is expected to explode into a supernova sometime in the future.

Alternative description
An intense plasma discharge resulting in a high current variable z-pinch that emits synchrotron radiation and has formed bipolar lobes of expanding plasma and dust. This z-pinch is occurring at the nexus of two highly energized Birkeland currents that collapsed and discharged and are now rotating closely around each other.

Eta Carinae (Homunculus Nebula)Shannon Sims