Formerly known as Eta Argus, Eta Carinae was a massive Wolf-Rayet type star located around 7,750 light years from Earth as well as the site where one of the most famous First Civilization artifacts was found. It was mostly obscured by the Homunculus Nebula. Being a high-priority target at the birth of Warp Drive travel, it was targeted for surveying and scientific efforts. Many people also wanted colonies to be established around this rare star. This is the reason as to why it was claimed so early on.
Not much is known about who may have discovered it, although although Dutch navigator Pieter Keyser described a fourth magnitude star at approximately the correct position around 1595–96. He then placed it onto the celestial globes of Petrus Plancius and Jodocus Hondius and the 1603 Uranometria of Johann Bayer.
The first confirmed report of Eta Carinae was made by Edmond Halley in 1677.
From 1837 to 1856, Eta Carinae brightened considerably in what is known as the Great Eruption. Eta Carinae became the second brightest star in the sky between March 11-14 1843 before fading well below naked eye visibility. It began brightening slowly after that.
With the development of the Warp Drive by humans, Eta Carina became a possible destination for a future mission, mostly due to its historical significance but also because more powerful telescopes had detected strange readings around it, readings that couldn't be natural. However, due to the slow "speeds" of the first versions of the Warp Drive, it would take many years to reach it.
As improvements were made on the drive, Eta Carinae became more and more in reach. Eventually, in 2980, the ship Darkstar was commissioned. Thanks to new state of the art suspended animation technology, the ship could now be made smaller and with much more protection. A brand new AI was installed on board and the crew were hooked up to a vastly expansive virtual environment in order to keep their minds from decaying. The Darkstar left ten years after it was commissioned.
In 3074, soon after the formation of the Federations of United Star Systems, the ship exited warp around 20 AU from the star. The crew, who had finished their virtual adventures in multiple worlds, were released and treated to a view of the incredibly bright star. However, the AI reported that there was some strange artifacts surrounding it. Upon closer inspection it was discovered to be a Dyson Swarm, long since abandoned. Probes were sent in for a closer look and the dates for the artifacts dated back nearly 200 million years. They discovered massive FTL communication equipment that pointed towards the Carina Nebula.
While the purpose of the Dyson swarm remained unclear for a few hundred years, increased activity from Eta Carinae made it clear that it was meant to keep the nearby star systems protected from the inevitable hypernova that would follow.
A warm Me-Class moon was found to be orbiting around the third planet from Eta Carinae and was established as the first human colony around it. This moon was used severely for mining metals that would be used to build a Dyson swarm around the star & the planetary shields.
When the FUSS was founded, they set aside a good chunk of their funding for the study and hopeful completion of the swarm as well as the development of a powerful planetary shielding system for the nearby worlds with life. In 3412, Eta Carinae showed signs that it was nearly ready to explode. Attempts to create a shielding against the future explosion were put into place, and all colonists on the planets had high hopes that it would work.
In 4456, Eta Carinae detonated into a deadly hypernova. As the plasma wind from the explosion rushed out at near light-speed, all planets in the star system, and closeby star systems were burned and completely vaporized. Before it hit the colonies in the system, the shields were darkened and deployed. However, even with this, the incomprehensible heat and energy from this event destroyed them easily. All colonists and colonies within a 45 lightyear radius were incinerated by the ultra-bright hypernova after this event, with many being evacuated shortly after the explosion. What remained from the star's core was a tiny 62 km-sized black hole.
The First Civilization artifact found had, by this time, been relocated to a star over a hundred light years away and was thus spared the disaster.