Journal Article

Can η Carinae be a triple system?

Mario Livio and J. E. Pringle

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 295, issue 4, pages L59-L60
Published in print April 1998 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 1998 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Can η Carinae be a triple system?

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We examine the possibility that η Carinae is a triple system. We show that a stable hierarchical system is possible, although perhaps only marginally.

We outline a speculative scenario for the history of the system, in which the giant outburst of the last century is associated with an interchange of components in a dynamically unstable triple system. We point out that the currently observed spectroscopic ‘event’ could be used to distinguish among the different possible configurations of the system.

Keywords: binaries: general; stars: individual: η Car; stars: kinematics

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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