AAS 195th Meeting, January 2000
Session 111. Eta Carinae
Display, Saturday, January 15, 2000, 9:20am-4:00pm, Grand Hall

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[111.01] Resolving the X-ray Variability of the Supermassive Star Eta Carinae

M. F. Corcoran (USRA/GSFC-LHEA), A. Fredericks (UMd), J. H. Swank (GSFC), K. Ishibashi (UMinn), R. Petre (GSFC), K. Davidson (UMinn), S. Drake (USRA/GSFC-LHEA)

ROSAT, ASCA, RXTE and now Chandra X-ray observations of the supermassive star Eta Carinae obtained over the past 7 years chronicle the inordinate variability of the high-energy emission. The most important characteristics are these: 1) the hard X-ray ``low state" evidently recurs with a period consistent with the ``Damineli Cycle" of 5.5 years; 2) the X-ray emission exhibits ``flares" which occur quasi-periodically; 3) the overall X-ray brightness in the current ``cycle" is brighter than at the same phase in the last cycle; 4) the hard, variable ``core" source is apparently resolvable at lower energies but unresolvable at energies above ~ 4 keV. The X-ray data appear consistent with a model of X-ray generation via colliding winds in a massive binary system coupled with dust scattering, though the ``flaring" activity probably requires that the wind from at least one of the stars is azimuthally structured. It is difficult to account for all the X-ray properties by activity in a single star. This work has been funded by NASA.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://lheawww.gsfc.nasa.gov/users/corcoran/etacar.html. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: corcoran@barnegat.gsfc.nasa.gov

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