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Afternoon Astronomy Coffee Hangout 12 July

Tuesday, July 10, 2018 - 11:23

"Eta Carinae the Enigmatic Explosive Star Probed by NASA NUSTAR"

Eta Carinae, is a well known massive, luminous star system located about 7,500 light-years away from the Earth. It is in the southern constellation of Carina, and produced an outburst in the 19th century making it the second-brightest star in the sky. Since then, Eta Car has been well studied but still it holds fascination for astronomers studying explosive star systems. It has two massive stars that come very close to each other every 5.5 years. The system has intense outflows which accelerate charged particles to an amazing speed and can produce energy bursts that can be observed by many telescopes. Studies with the NuSTAR space telescope recently have helped characterize the outbursts and the types of particles sent our way.

Join Tony Darnell and Carol Christian during Afternoon Astronomy Coffee on Thursday, 12 July at 3:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time (19:00 UTC) as they discuss with the investigators, including Kenji Hamaguchi (Goddard Space Flight Center and University of Maryland) and Michael Corcoran (Goddard Space Flight Center and Catholic University) how they probed Eta Car with NuSTAR to understand the system, and describe this interesting NASA mission that probes the high energy universe.

During the hangout, you can take part in the live chat and join the conversation on Twitter with #AstroCoffee. An archive of previous hangouts in this series may be found in the Deep Astronomy YouTube playlist.

What Are "Afternoon Astronomy Coffee" and "Future in Space" Hangouts?

"Future In Space” and "Afternoon Astronomy Coffee" Hangouts are part of a weekly series, held every Thursday, that also includes a segment called "Footsteps to Mars." We bring the the latest research in astronomy, highlights from the future of space astronomy and astronautics planning, as well as updates on the exploration of Mars to you every week via Hangouts on Air. With the sponsorship of both the American Astronomical Society (AAS) and the American Astronautical Society (the other AAS), our hosts Tony Darnell, Carol Christian, Alberto Conti, and Harley Thronson examine today's breakthroughs in research and peer into the unfolding possibilities of what we may learn about the universe and Mars exploration. We join with members of the American Astronomical Society to chat, in an informal online setting modeled after "science coffee" events held in universities and research organizations across the country. We will examine what we hope to learn about exoplanets, black holes, the early universe, quasars, and life in the universe along with what technologies might help us — and reflect upon the scientific endeavors occurring today that uncover amazing astrophysics and lay the groundwork for studies to come.

We will also explore the technology and engineering used today as well as possibilities for future space travel and research with members of both societies, and probe what our future in space may look like and how we might get there. We will examine the underlying technologies of space telescopes, orbiters, landers, and human space vehicles now and in the years to come. We will delve into topics that help us understand the possibilities and limitations of human space flight and eventual human colonization of other worlds.

We hope you can join us each month as we bring experts from both societies — people who think about and plan for our future in space — to your computer, tablet, or smartphone. We invite you to bring your questions and comments and get ready to learn about the amazing possibilities for the future of space astronomy and exploration.

Carol A. Christian
Astronomer
STScI and CEM
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