Eta Carinais best known for an enormous eruption seen in the mid-19th century that hurled an amount of material at least 10 times the Sun's mass into space.
    
This expanding veil of gas and dust, which still shrouds Eta Carinae, makes it the only object of its kind known in our galaxy.
    
A new study using archival data from NASA's Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes has found five similar objects in other galaxies for the first time.
    
"The most massive stars are always rare, but they have tremendous impact on the chemical and physical evolution of their host galaxy," said lead scientist Rubab Khan, from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre in US.
    
These stars produce and distribute large amounts of the chemical elements vital to life and eventually explode as supernovae. Located about 7,500 light-years away in the southern constellation of Carina, Eta Carinae outshines our Sun by 5 million times, the researchers said.

The study was published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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