Formerly known as Eta Argus, Eta Carinae was a Wolf-Rayet type star located around 7,750 light years from Earth. It was mostly obscured by the Homunculus Nebula.
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 palced it onto the celestial globes of Petrus Plancius and Jodocus Hondius and the 1603 Uranometria of Johann Bayer.
The first confirmed report of the star was made by Edmond Halley in 1677.
From 1837 to 1856 the star brightened considerably in what is known as the Great Eruption. Eta Carina 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 invention 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 the star, readings that couldn't be natural. However, due to the slow "speeds" of the first versions of the Warp Drive, it would take multiple lifetimes to reach the star.
As improvements were made on the drive, the star became more and more in reach and eventually in 2580 the starship 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 2674 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 structure 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 the star made it clear that it was meant to keep the nearby star systems protected from the inevitable destruction of the star.
When the Confederacy 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 the star showed signs that it was nearly ready to explode. However, by this time an effective planetary shielding had been developed and already been deployed around the few human colonies and the handful of planets with life in the nearby systems. In 3456 the star finally detonated. The swarm was successful in vastly reducing the amount of gamma radiation the star burst forth, and the shielding did the rest.
As of 10000 the light from the supernova has reached a few human colonies but will reach Earth in more than 1000 years.