The central portion of the Eta Carinae Nebula, NGC 3372, also known as the Keyhole Nebula, in the constellation of Carina. This gaseous bright nebula surrounds the peculiar variable star Eta Carinae, with overlying clouds of dark material. The nebula is 9000 light-years from Earth. Cerro Tololo 4-meter Blanco telescope, 1976: north is at the top.
Carina Nebula (NGC 3372) glowing pink above Chile's Chiliques volcano. (Image: Babak Tafreshi, TWAN) The nebula is about 7500 light years away in the southern hemisphere constellation Carina. The red color is light emitted from atoms of hydrogen gas interacting with UV radiation from massive young stars. The color is real, but your eyes wouldn't see it this way because they're not sensitive to color in dim light. Mona Evans, “Nebulae” http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art43407.asp
A decade of incredible photos from Spitzer Space Telescope
The Eta Carinae binary star system: the larger of the two stars in the system is a huge and unstable star that is nearing the end of its life, and it was observed in the 19th century becoming brighter until 1843, when this outburst occurred - its effects can be studied today. The huge clouds of matter thrown out a century and a half ago, known as the Homunculus Nebula, have been a regular target for the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope