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Eta Carinae

11 Jul 2018, 13:00 UTC
Eta Carinae
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NASA dixit:
“A new study using data from NASA’s NuSTAR space telescope suggests that the most luminous and massive stellar system within 10,000 light-years, Eta Carinae, is accelerating particles to high energies — some of which may reach Earth as cosmic rays. Cosmic rays with energies greater than 1 billion electron volts (eV) come to us from beyond our solar system. But because these particles — electrons, protons and atomic nuclei — all carry an electrical charge, they veer off course whenever they encounter magnetic fields. This scrambles their paths and masks their origins. Eta Carinae, located about 7,500 light-years away in the southern constellation of Carina, contains a pair of massive stars whose eccentric orbits bring them unusually close every 5.5 years. The stars contain 90 and 30 times the mass of our Sun.
Both stars drive powerful outflows called stellar winds, which emit low-energy X-rays where they collide. NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope observes gamma rays — light packing far more energy than X-rays — from a source in the direction of Eta Carinae. But Fermi’s vision isn’t as sharp as X-ray telescopes, so astronomers couldn’t confirm the connection. To bridge this gap, astronomers turned to ...

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