Could Multiple Stars Be Hiding in Eta Carinae's Nebula?

  • Thread starter Wellsi
  • Start date
In summary, the Eddington limit is the largest luminosity that can pass through a layer of gas in hydrostatic equilibrium. It is used to set limits on the maximum mass of a star. The Eddington limit for stars is around 100 solar masses. We have never seen the surface of the star, only the gas ejection that surrounds it now. It is possible for multiple stars to be clouded like that so that we can't see it.
  • #1
Wellsi
80
0
i keep hearing about these stars, the first one i hear is a black hole next to a blue giant i think it was, and the second was one of the most massive stars to exist.
Can someone explain to me what's happening at Cygnus X-1 (AND!) what could happen if Eta Carinae exploded (whats this i hear about hypernovae - is it just theory or is there proof for one?)
 
Astronomy news on Phys.org
  • #2
Cygnus X-1 is a an X-ray source unlike other X-ray sources discovered. Most X-ray sources come from neutron stars which slowly accrete material from an orbiting star onto their magnetic poles and become very hot emitting lots of x-rays and radiation of other wavelengths and pulsars. These X-rays pulse because the neutron star is spinning and the beam is highly directional. The X-rays from Cygnus X-1 however flicker randomly on very short timescales. Because the timescales are so short it gives us a limit on the size of the object which is less than ~3000Km. The companion to Cygnus X-1 is a supergiant star which are not renound for emitting X-rays so the the X-ray source was determined to be in orbit. Furthermore its mass was said to be of the order of 7 solar masses due to the doppler shift of the companion stars spectrum. For something of seven solar masses that is not visible means that it is highly likely to be a black hole as it is too massive for a neutron star or white dwarf in current models.

As far as Hypernovae are concerned, I was always told tey were just unusually energetic supernovae giving rise to massive gamma ray bursts. For Eta Carinae at 120-150 solar masses I suppose its a candidate for a hypernovae but perhaps somebody else should clarify this.
 
  • #3
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eta_Carinae

"Eddington luminosity (sometimes also called the Eddington limit) is the largest luminosity that can pass through a layer of gas in hydrostatic equilibrium, supposing spherical symmetry. Using the mass-luminosity relation, it can be used to set limits on the maximum mass of a star."

this limit is about 100 solar masses yes? i also read that we have NEVER seen the surface of the star, only the gas ejection that surrounds it now, so perhaps it is more than one star? Is it possible for mutiple stars to be clouded like that so that we can't see it? I think that happens in nebulas.
Look at the pistol star and LBV 1806-20, these are also stars that exceed the Eddington limit, so would they travel the same path?
 

Related to Could Multiple Stars Be Hiding in Eta Carinae's Nebula?

1. What is Cygnus X-1?

Cygnus X-1 is a binary star system located approximately 6,070 light years away in the constellation Cygnus. It consists of a massive blue supergiant star and a compact object, likely a black hole, orbiting each other.

2. How was Cygnus X-1 discovered?

Cygnus X-1 was first observed in the 1960s as a strong X-ray source. In 1971, scientists were able to identify its companion star and study its orbit, leading to the realization that it was a binary system with a black hole.

3. What is the significance of Cygnus X-1?

Cygnus X-1 was the first X-ray source to be identified as a black hole, providing strong evidence for the existence of these elusive objects. It has also been extensively studied as a source for understanding the physics of black holes and their effects on their surroundings.

4. What is Eta Carinae?

Eta Carinae is a highly luminous star located in the Carina constellation. It is one of the most massive and luminous stars in the Milky Way, with a mass estimated to be 100 times that of the Sun.

5. What makes Eta Carinae unique?

Eta Carinae is known for its extreme variability and irregular outbursts, which have been observed since the 19th century. It also has a complex and unusual structure, with a bipolar nebula surrounding the star and a smaller companion star in orbit around it.

Similar threads

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
Replies
22
Views
3K
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
Replies
13
Views
582
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
Replies
1
Views
932
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
Replies
3
Views
1K
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
Replies
10
Views
1K
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
Replies
14
Views
757
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
Replies
21
Views
1K
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
Replies
5
Views
2K
Replies
16
Views
5K
Replies
42
Views
3K
Back
Top