NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2018A-0295

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Program Information for 2018A-0295


PI: Noel Richardson, U. of Toledo, noel.richardson@UToledo.edu
Address: Physics Department, 2801 W Bancroft, MS 111, Toledo, OH 43614 United States

CoI: Anthony Moffat, University of Montreal
CoI: Ted Gull, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
CoI: Andrea Mehner, ESO
CoI: Gerd Weigelt, Max-Planck Institut für Radioastronomie
CoI: Thomas Madura, San Jose State U.
CoI: Jose Groh, Trinity College Dublin

Title: Is eta Carinae pulsating?

Abstract: We have recently identified photometric oscillations in the massive binary $eta$ Carinae with the {it BRITE-Constellation} nanosatellites. These oscillations seem to be easiest to explain with tidally excited oscillations that have been observed for many different eccentric binaries. However, we need to be certain that the variability is not caused by other wind phenomena. We propose to obtain high-resolution, high-quality spectra every other night for five months in order to investigate the causes of the photometric oscillations. No intensive time-series spectroscopic campaign has been accomplished for this star at a time this far from a periastron passage in the past, which could illuminate mysteries surrounding the unusual system. These observations will test if the variations are indeed pulsations. If so, then the pulsations allow us to explore the true internal nature of one of the Galaxy's most massive evolved stars.

Program Type: Standard/Galactic

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2018A):  CT-1.5m-SVC/CHIRON -- 20hrs


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2018A-0295

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