Eta Carinae and the Supernova Impostors

  • Kris Davidson
  • Roberta M. Humphreys

Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 384)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Roberta M. Humphreys, John C. Martin
    Pages 1-24
  3. Kris Davidson
    Pages 43-65
  4. Francisco Paco Najarro, D. John Hillier
    Pages 67-93
  5. Fred Hamann
    Pages 95-128
  6. Nathan Smith
    Pages 145-169
  7. Kerstin Weis
    Pages 171-194
  8. M. F. Corcoran, K. Ishibashi
    Pages 195-219
  9. Jorick S. Vink
    Pages 221-247
  10. Schuyler D. Van Dyk, Thomas Matheson
    Pages 249-274
  11. S. P. Owocki, N. J. Shaviv
    Pages 275-297
  12. Back Matter
    Pages 327-329

About this book


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 accessible 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.


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Editors and affiliations

  • Kris Davidson
    • 1
  • Roberta M. Humphreys
    • 2
  1. 1.Dept. AstronomyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Dept. AstronomyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

Bibliographic information