Eddington limit


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Eddington limit

(ed -ing-tŏn) An upper limit to the luminosity that can be radiated by a celestial object of a specified mass. Beyond this limit the forces on matter due to radiation pressure in the emitting region would exceed the gravitational forces holding the object together.

Eddington limit

[′ed·iŋ·tən ‚lim·ət]
(astrophysics)
A limit on the radiation emitted by a star above which the star becomes unstable.
References in periodicals archive ?
I'm not a believer in the Eddington limit," Volonteri said flatly in a recent talk at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
But overcoming the Eddington limit is no easy task, she admits.
The Eddington limit is the point at which the force of gravity pulling gas together is balanced by the outward pressure from the stars.
This means that the black hole gobbles up matter at twice its Eddington limit, confirming the force-feeding picture.
In this case, the pulsar surpasses its Eddington limit by a factor of 100--an unprecedented amount, difficult to reconcile with theory.
If the black hole is about 40 solar masses, the energy output is a few times above its Eddington limit.
Joey Neilsen (Boston University) says the biggest puzzle is why the black hole appears to have broken the Eddington limit for so long.
Recent theoretical research by Nir Shaviv (Hebrew University, Israel) and Stan Owocki (University of Delaware) suggests that stellar behavior at the Eddington limit is more complicated than previously assumed.
From their calculations, Shaviv and Owocki have surmised that when a star's luminosity approaches the Eddington limit, instabilities develop as radiation tries to bore holes in the dense gas surrounding the core.
Shaviv and Owocki's model may explain how Eta Carinae survived the Great Eruption, but it doesn't explain why Eta Carinae exceeded the Eddington limit in the first place.