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Eta Carinae and the Supernova Impostors

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Eta Carinae and the Supernova Impostors
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In 1965 Fritz Zwicky proposed a class of supernovae that he called "Type V", described as "excessively faint at maximum". 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 "supernova impostor". 170 years ago it experienced a "great eruption" 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 "first" stars in the Universe.

Author Biography

Kris Davidson is Professor of Astronomy at the University of Minnesota. He received his university degrees from the California Institute of Technology and Cornell University. His research has covered a diverse group of objects distinguished by their special characteristics -- QSO's, the Crab Nebula supernova remnant, X-ray sources and pulsars, and of course eta Carinae. He is the Principal Investigator on the Hubble Space Telescope Treasury Project on eta Carinae. Roberta Humphreys is an Institute of Technology Distinguished Professor of Astronomy at the University of Minnesota. She received her degrees from Indiana University and the University of Michigan. She has received the George W. Taylor award for distinguished research at the University of Minnesota and the Alexander von Humboldt distinguished Senior Scientist Award from Germany. Her research has focused on observational studies of the most luminous and most massive stars in our Milky Way galaxy, stellar populations in nearby galaxies, and the structure of the Milky Way.
Release date NZ
March 9th, 2012
Edited by Kris Davidson Edited by Roberta M. Humphreys
Country of Publication
United States
3 Tables, color; X, 330 p.
Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
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