NASA/IPAC EXTRAGALACTIC DATABASE
Date and Time of the Query: 2019-06-24 T23:16:41 PDT
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For refcode 2015ApJ...815L..18K:
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2015ApJ...815L..18K Discovery of Five Candidate Analogs for eta Carinae in Nearby Galaxies Khan, Rubab; Adams, Scott M.; Stanek, K. Z.; Kochanek, C. S.; Sonneborn, G. Abstract. The late-stage evolution of very massive stars such as eta Carinae may be dominated by episodic mass ejections that may later lead to Type II superluminous supernova (SLSN-II; e.g., SN 2006gy). However, as long as eta Car is one of a kind, it is nearly impossible to quantitatively evaluate these possibilities. Here, we announce the discovery of five objects in the nearby (~4-8 Mpc) massive star-forming galaxies M51, M83, M101, and NGC 6946 that have optical through mid-infrared (mid-IR) photometric properties consistent with the hitherto unique eta Car. The Spitzer mid-IR spectral energy distributions of these L_bol_ ~= 3-8 x 10^6^ L_sun_ objects rise steeply in the 3.6-8 micron bands and then turn over between 8 and 24 micron, indicating the presence of warm (~400-600 K) circumstellar dust. Their optical counterparts in HST images are ~1.5-2 dex fainter than their mid-IR peaks and require the presence of ~5-10 M_sun_ of obscuring material. Our finding implies that the rate of eta Car-like events is a fraction f = 0.094 (0.040 < f < 0.21 at 90% confidence) of the core-collapse supernova (ccSN) rate. If there is only one eruption mechanism and Type II superluminous supernovae are due to ccSNe occurring inside these dense shells, then the ejection mechanism is likely associated with the onset of carbon burning (~10^3^-10^4^ years), which is also consistent with the apparent ages of massive Galactic shells. Key words: stars: evolution, stars: individual: eta Carinae, stars: massive, stars: mass-loss
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