Eta Carina Spectrum

ASCA spectrum of Eta-Car Image Credit: Mike Corcoran, NASA/GSFC

A deep (100 ksec) exposure of Eta Car was obtained with the ASCA SIS and GIS instruments on Jul 29 1996. This is the best X-ray spectrum yet obtained for Eta Car.

Above is the "unfolded" SIS Eta Car spectrum which shows a highly absorbed, very high-temperature thermal component (at energies above 2 keV). The high temperature emission originates very close to the star itself, and is variable. It is probably produced by a shock as the wind from Eta Car collides with the wind or surface of an unseen companion. Eta Car also has considerable emission at energies below 1 keV, but this mainly originates in the extended emission surrounding the "homunculus", the nebula ejected from Eta Car in the 1840's.

A larger GIF version of this is available.

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Last modified: Thursday, 26-Jun-2003 13:48:45 EDT