Tactile Astronomy > The Tactile Carina Nebula

Tactile Nebula Tour

Below you may download a guided tour of the tactile image of the Carina Nebula. This tour is specifically designed to accompany the tactile image in the booklet and identifies all touchable features.

Download "A Tour of the Tactile Carina Nebula":

SPECIAL TACTILE PROJECT: "The Tactile Carina Nebula", A Limited-Edition, Tactile Booklet

WATCH THE VIDEO: All About the Tactile Carina Booklet

This Web page provides accompanying materials for a tactile presentation of the Carina Nebula. The product, intended primarily for visually-impaired students and teachers interested in learning about the life cycles of stars, consists of a bound pair of panels containing a color tactile image and a texture legend. Supplies of this tactile booklet are currently limited. Please contact tactile@stsci.edu to either request one of the booklets or locate one in your area.

Background text about the Carina Nebula is available below, to read with a screen reader, download as a text file, or play as an audio file.

An audio "tour" of the tactile image of the nebula is also available on this page, in the boxed area at top, right.

This project was funded by Hubble Cycle E/PO grant 11765.03 from STScI. Send questions, comments and suggestions to tactile@stsci.edu.


The Carina Nebula is an immense cloud of gas and dust where tens of thousands of stars are cycling through the stages of stellar life. Some of the most massive stars are nearing death, while new stars continue to arise within the turbulent landscape.

The nebula, which can be seen from the southern hemisphere, is located in the constellation Carina, 7,500 light years away from Earth. The Carina nebula spans over 300 light years, but the Hubble Space Telescope was able to capture this 50 light-year-wide view of its central region.

The story of the Carina Nebula began three million years ago, when a huge cloud of cold hydrogen molecules began to collapse into dense clumps of gas. The clumps ignited into stars whose radiation carved out an expanding bubble in the gas cloud.

Hurricane blasts of stellar winds and blistering ultraviolet radiation from the nebula's first generation of stars are now compressing the surrounding walls of cold hydrogen, triggering a second stage of star birth.

Download "The Carina Nebula: A Story of Stars":