"One remarkable aspect of Eta Carinae is its changing brightness. When it was first catalogued in 1677 by Edmond Halley, it was of the 4th magnitude, but later it brightened, reaching its greatest brightness in April 1843"
I don't know how to word it, but could the 2nd sentence be changed without getting too detailed, to indicate its varying brightness so readers don't think it only brightened from 1677 to 1843. Also, is it too fine a point to say "greatest *recorded* brightness in April 1843"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jeandré du Toit (talk • contribs) 11:16, 19 January 2003
There are two conflicting magnitudes listed in the article. It appears eta car has apparent magnitude around 5.1: AAVSO— Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk • contribs) 08:48, 30 May 2007
Someone should mention that this explosion is mostly harmless because main burst will not hit Earth. Even by 7500 ly we would be toasted in direct hit. Source: [here] .
"Note that the lobes appear to be tilted away from us by about 40 degrees or so. That’s a good thing. When stars like Eta Carinae explode, they tend to shoot of beams of energy and matter that, at its distance of 7500 light years, could kill every living thing on Earth. But since it’s pointed away from us, all we’ll get is a spectacular light show." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk • contribs) 13:19, 21 June 2007
Time to describe the mechanism of the Great Eruption?
The article currently describes observations of the Great Eruption, but says little to nothing about what caused it. If I remember rightly, this was done simply because we don't know what caused it, but there are now at least three models and it may be worth describing them. The "classic" model is simply a super-Eddington wind which is effectively a larger version of more normal LBV instabilities. This has looked progressively less and less likely as the scale of the eruption has been determined. The mass transfer model is basically the release of gravitational potential energy from primary wind material accreted onto the secondary, triggered by a combination of LBV-type expansion of the primary and orbital interaction with the secondary. Another model is the "explosive" model where a sub-supernova scale explosive event ejects a substantial fraction of the star, with the high luminosity caused by conversion of the kinetic energy to radiation in the same way as type IIn supernova, basically colliding with previously ejected circumstellar material. Yes? No? Did I miss anything? Lithopsian (talk) 17:48, 20 March 2016 (UTC)
In the lead paragraph, you mention "the Great Eruption" in the mid-1800's. To novices like myself, our first guess would be that the Great Eruption spanned many star systems and thus a fair extent of the night sky. It's only further down in section 1.2 that we find out that the Great Eruption wasn't all that great and only describes events happening within Eta Carinae, with its extreme increase in magnitude.
Maybe you could substitute the following unlined passage in the second sentence of the article: First recorded as a 4th-magnitude star, it brightened in 1837 until it outshined all but half a dozen of the brightest stars. This period, from 1837 to 1856, was known as the Great Eruption.