Eta Carinae: more than an eclipse | 03.08.2012

Two phenomena cause periodical blackout of the star Eta Carinae


The brutal and periodic nature of the loss of brightness of the enigmatic giant star Eta Carinae, which every five years and a half stops shining for approximately 90 consecutive days in certain ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum, particularly in X-rays, may have finally been discovered by an international team of astrophysicists. The researcher Augusto Damineli and postdoctoral Mairan Teodoro, both from the University of São Paulo (USP), analyzed data recorded by five land telescopes located in South America during the last blackout of the star, which occurred between January and March 2009, and harvested evidence that this event would hide two separate but intertwined phenomena – not just one, as was believed.

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