eROSITA studies of the Carina Nebula

Manami Sasaki, Jan Robrade, Martin G. H. Krause, Jonathan R. Knies, Kisetsu Tsuge, Gerd Pühlhofer, Andrew Strong

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During the first four all-sky surveys eRASS:4 carried out from December 2019 to 2021, the extended Roentgen Survey with an Imaging Telescope Array (eROSITA) on board Spektrum-Roentgen-Gamma (Spektr-RG, SRG) observed the Galactic HII region Carina nebula. We analysed the eRASS:4 data to study the distribution and the spectral properties of the hot interstellar plasma and the bright stellar sources in the Carina nebula. Spectral extraction regions of the diffuse emission were defined based on X-ray spectral morphology and multi-wavelength data. The spectra were fit with a combination of thermal and non-thermal emission models. X-ray bright point sources in the Carina nebula are the colliding wind binary $\eta$ Car, several O stars, and Wolf-Rayet (WR) stars. We extracted the spectrum of the brightest stellar sources, which can be well fit with a multi-component thermal plasma model. The spectra of the diffuse emission in the brighter parts of the Carina nebula is well reproduced by two thermal models, a lower-temperature component ($\sim$0.2 keV) and a higher-temperature component (0.6 - 0.8 keV). An additional non-thermal component dominates the emission above $\sim$1 keV in the central region around $\eta$ Car and the other massive stars. Significant orbital variation of the X-ray flux was measured for $\eta$ Car, WR22 and WR25. $\eta$ Car requires an additional time-variable thermal component in the spectral model, which is associated to the wind-wind-collision zone. Properties like temperature, pressure, and luminosity of the X-ray emitting plasma in the Carina nebula derived from the eROSITA data are consistent with theoretical calculations of emission from superbubbles. It confirms that the X-ray emission is caused by the hot plasma inside the Carina nebula which has been shocked-heated by the stellar winds of the massive stars, in particular, of $\eta$ Car.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 3 Dec 2023


  • astro-ph.HE
  • astro-ph.GA


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