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Gabriela Mistral Nebula

IC 2599
Contains the open cluster NGC 3324

Proper NameGabriela Mistral Nebula
Messier NumberNone
NGC/IC NumberIC 2599 (contains the open cluster NGC 3324)
Right Ascension10h 37m 42s
Declination-58° 39' 0"
Distancec.7,500 light years
c.2,300 parsecs
(some sources suggest a greater distance, up to 9,100 light years)
MagnitudeApparent: +6.7
Absolute: -5.1
(internal cluster NGC 3324)
Mean DiameterApparent: 12'
Actual: 26 light years
Associated Star(s)Stars of the cluster NGC 3324, notably HD 92206 and KU Carinae
Optimum VisibilityMarch (Usually visible from southern latitudes)
NotesAn emission nebula and star-forming region approximately 26 light years in diameter that is connected to the vast Eta Carinae Nebula. This part of the nebula complex contains numerous young stars, notably those within the open cluster designated NGC 3324.

An outlying part of the Eta Carina complex of nebulae, the Gabriela Mistral Nebula appears as a small bright patch, approximately globular in shape, to the northwest of the extensive Eta Carinae Nebula. The nebula takes its common name from a Chilean poet Lucila Godoy Alcayaga, known by the pen-name Gabriela Mistral, due to a rather fanciful resemblance between the two.

Imagery provided by Aladin sky atlas

This is a star-forming region; the young stars within the nebula cause its gases to glow, creating an emission nebula. Among the new stars in the nebula is a group forming an open cluster, NGC 3324, whose members are estimated to be no more than seven million years old. The entire system - the nebula and the cluster it contains - lies several thousand light years from the Solar System (the exact distance is difficult to establish, and estimates vary between 7,500 and 9,100 light years).