A smoking gun in the Carina Nebula

Kenji Hamaguchi, Michael F. Corcoran, Yuichiro Ezoe, Leisa Townsley, Patrick Broos, Robert Gruendl, Kaushar Vaidya, Stephen M. White, Tod Strohmayer, Rob Petre, You Hua Chu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Carina Nebula is one of the youngest, most active sites of massive star formation in our Galaxy. In this nebula, we have discovered a bright X-ray source that has persisted for 30 years. The soft X-ray spectrum, consistent with kT 128 eV blackbody radiation with mild extinction, and no counterpart in the near- and mid-infrared wavelengths indicates that it is a 106 year old neutron star housed in the Carina Nebula. Current star formation theory does not suggest that the progenitors of the neutron star and massive stars in the Carina Nebula, in particular η Car, are coeval. This result suggests that the Carina Nebula experienced at least two major episodes of massive star formation. The neutron star may be responsible for remnants of high-energy activity seen in multiple wavelengths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L4-L9
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • ISM: bubbles
  • Stars: evolution
  • Stars: formation
  • Stars: neutron
  • Supernova remnants
  • X-rays: stars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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