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NASA's NuSTAR Mission Proves Superstar Eta Carinae Shoots Cosmic Rays 5nvklj





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NASA's NuSTAR Mission Proves Superstar Eta Carinae Shoots Cosmic Rays

Dragon
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NASA's NuSTAR Mission Proves Superstar Eta Carinae Shoots Cosmic Rays Empty NASA's NuSTAR Mission Proves Superstar Eta Carinae Shoots Cosmic Rays

Post by Dragon Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:09 am

A new study using data from NASA’s NuSTAR space telescope suggests that Eta Carinae, the most luminous and massive stellar system within 10,000 light-years, is accelerating particles to high energies — some of which may reach Earth as cosmic rays.

“We know the blast waves of exploded stars can accelerate cosmic ray particles to speeds comparable to that of light, an incredible energy boost,” said Kenji Hamaguchi, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and the lead author of the study. “Similar processes must occur in other extreme environments. Our analysis indicates Eta Carinae is one of them.”

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NASA's NuSTAR Mission Proves Superstar Eta Carinae Shoots Cosmic Rays 334pu7m
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Post by Dragon Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:10 am

NASA's NuSTAR Mission Proves Superstar Eta Carinae Shoots Cosmic Rays Nustar_contours_eta_car
Credits: NASA/CXC and NASA/JPL-Caltech

Eta Carinae shines in X-rays in this image from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. The colors indicate different energies. Red spans 300 to 1,000 electron volts (eV), green ranges from 1,000 to 3,000 eV and blue covers 3,000 to 10,000 eV. For comparison, the energy of visible light is about 2 to 3 eV. NuSTAR observations (green contours) reveal a source of X-rays with energies some three times higher than Chandra detects. X-rays seen from the central point source arise from the binary’s stellar wind collision. The NuSTAR detection shows that shock waves in the wind collision zone accelerate charged particles like electrons and protons to near the speed of light. Some of these may reach Earth, where they will be detected as cosmic ray particles. X-rays scattered by debris ejected in Eta Carinae's famous 1840 eruption may produce the broader red emission.

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NASA's NuSTAR Mission Proves Superstar Eta Carinae Shoots Cosmic Rays 334pu7m
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Post by Dragon Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:11 am



A new study using data from NASA's NuSTAR space telescope suggests that the most luminous and massive stellar system within 10,000 light-years, Eta Carinae, is accelerating particles to high energies -- some of which may reach Earth as cosmic rays.

Cosmic rays with energies greater than 1 billion electron volts (eV) come to us from beyond our solar system. But because these particles -- electrons, protons and atomic nuclei -- all carry an electrical charge, they veer off course whenever they encounter magnetic fields. This scrambles their paths and masks their origins.

Eta Carinae, located about 7,500 light-years away in the southern constellation of Carina, contains a pair of massive stars whose eccentric orbits bring them unusually close every 5.5 years. The stars contain 90 and 30 times the mass of our Sun.


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NASA's NuSTAR Mission Proves Superstar Eta Carinae Shoots Cosmic Rays 334pu7m

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