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Session 26 - Proto Stars to Supernovae.
Oral session, Monday, June 08

[26.04] Periodic X-ray Variability of Eta Carinae

M. F. Corcoran (USRA/LHEA/GSFC), K. Ishibashi, K. Davidson (U Minnesota), J. H. Swank, R. Petre (LHEA/GSFC), R. Viotti (IAS)

Recent observations of the X-ray emission from the very luminous star Eta Carinae by RXTE, ASCA, and SAX prove that the X-ray variability first reported by ROSAT in 1992 (Corcoran et al. 1995) is periodic. The X-ray lightcurve undergoes a "low state" every 5.5 years which appears to be an occultation event. The X-ray low state coincides with the disappearance of excited He lines which mark the recurrence of the so-called "shell events" (Damineli 1996). We discuss the behavior of the X-ray emission during the most recent "low state" and consider observed variations in column density and observed and intrinsic source brightness in terms of binary and single-star models.

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Program listing for Monday