10/20/2012

Eta Carinae sound




Eta Carinae (η Carinae or η Car) is a stellar system in the constellation Carina, about 7,500 to 8,000 light-years from the Sun. The system contains at least two stars, one of which is a Luminous Blue Variable (LBV), which during the early stages of its life had a mass of around 150 solar masses, of which it has lost at least 30 since. It is thought that a hot supergiant of approximately 30 solar masses exists in orbit around its larger companion star, although an enormous thick red nebula surrounding Eta Carinae makes it impossible to see optically. Eta Carinae is enclosed in the Homunculus Nebula, itself part of the much larger Carina Nebula. Its combined luminosity is about five million times that of the Sun and has an estimated system mass in excess of 100 solar masses. It is not visible north of latitude 30°N and is circumpolar south of latitude 30°S. Because of its mass and the stage of life, it is expected to explode in a supernova or even hypernova in the astronomically near future.