Eta Carinae is approximately 8,500 light-years away from Earth.
Scientists use a variety of methods to measure the distance of stars, including parallax measurements and the use of standard candles such as Cepheid variable stars. In the case of Eta Carinae, its distance has been calculated using parallax measurements from the Hubble Space Telescope.
No, Eta Carinae is not the farthest star from Earth. There are many other stars and galaxies that are much farther away, with some estimated to be billions of light-years away.
Since Eta Carinae is 8,500 light-years away from Earth, it would take 8,500 years for light to travel from the star to our planet. This means that the light we see from Eta Carinae today actually left the star 8,500 years ago.
Accurately measuring the distance of Eta Carinae, and other stars, is crucial for understanding the size and scale of the universe. It also helps scientists better understand the life cycles of stars and their impact on the surrounding galaxies.