The Infrared Astrophysics Group has
made high-spatial-resolution mid-infrared observations of the star Eta
Carinae. The mid-infrared emission of Eta Carinae originates in
dust ejected by the star during giant mass-loss events within the past
several hundred years. At 18 microns it is the brightest extrasolar object
in the mid-infrared (it is approximately magnitude zero). Recent analysis
of this data has shown that there may be a circumstellar disk surrounding
the central star which constrained the mass-loss events (see Polomski et
al. 1999, AJ; Smith et al. 1995, MNRAS 273, 354 and many others).
The image below was taken by Elisha Polomski with the University
of Florida mid-IR detector, OSCIR at CTIO November 29 1998.