Eta Carinae and the Supernova Impostors

Eta Carinae and the Supernova Impostors

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In 1965 Fritz Zwicky proposed a class of supernovae that he called qType Vq, described as qexcessively faint at maximumq. There were only two members, SN1961v and Eta Carinae. We now know that Eta Carinae was not a true supernova, but if it were observed today in a distant galaxy we would call it a qsupernova impostorq. 170 years ago it experienced a qgreat eruptionq lasting 20 years, expelling 10 solar masses or more, and survived. Eta Carinae is now acknowledged as the most massive, most luminous star in our region of the Galaxy, and it may be our only example of a very massive star in a pre-supernova state. In this book the editors and contributing authors review its remarkable history, physical state of the star and its ejecta, and its continuing instability. Chapters also include its relation to other massive, unstable stars, the massive star progenitors of supernovae, and the qfirstq stars in the Universe.A companion star recurrently perturbs it, varying some of the parameters like a lab experiment. We know the luminosity ... Published evolution tracks in the HR diagram relied on simple empirical prescriptions for the long-term mass loss rates .

Title:Eta Carinae and the Supernova Impostors
Author:Kris Davidson, Roberta M. Humphreys
Publisher:Springer Science & Business Media - 2012-03-15


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