View Full Version : Discussion: The Next Supernova?

2003-Nov-26, 11:15 PM
SUMMARY: The European Southern Observatory has released new images of a relatively nearby star, Eta Carina, which could be in the final stages of its life and could explode as a supernova in the near future (astronomically-speaking) - within the next 10-20,000 years or so. The star is 7,500 light years away, 100 times the mass of the Sun, and the most luminous object in the Milky Way. Since 1841, it has created a beautiful nebula around itself by continuously shedding outside layers while it spins quickly. By watching how Eta Carina changes, astronomers will gain valuable insights into the final stages of a supermassive star's life.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/eta_carina_next_supernova)

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

2004-Jul-07, 09:26 PM
There is an interesting article about Eta Carina on the Sky and Telescope website:
Eta Carina Plays Purple Haze (http://skyandtelescope.com/news/article_1296_1.asp)

The sense of the article is that there is more detailed evidence that Eta Car is a double star of two very massive stars that have a 3AU close approach once every 5.5 years.

2004-Jul-07, 11:49 PM
Eta Carina is certainly an interesting star.

I have a copy on my office wall.

However, I doubt if surface observations are a good indicator of a pending supernova event.

As I recall the famous 1987 supernova, SN1987A, came from a blue star - not from the red giant that was widley considered to be the stage preceeding a supernova.

With kind regards,