Eruptive outflow phases of massive stars

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


I review recent progress on understanding eruptions of unstable massive stars, with particular attention to the diversity of observed behavior in extragalatic optical transient sources that are generally associated with giant eruptions of luminous blue variables (LBVs). These eruptions are thought to represent key mass loss episodes in the lives of massive stars. I discuss the possibility of dormant LBVs and implications for the duration of the greater LBV phase and its role in stellar evolution. These eruptive variables show a wide range of peak luminosity, decay time, expansion speeds, and progenitor luminosity, and in some cases they have been observed to suffer multiple eruptions. This broadens our view of massive star eruptions compared to prototypical sources like Eta Carinae, and provides important clues for the nature of the outbursts. I will also review and discuss some implications about the possible physical mechanisms involved, although the cause of the eruptions is not yet understood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationActive OB stars
Subtitle of host publicationstructure, evolution, mass loss, and critical limits
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9780521198400
StatePublished - Jul 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
ISSN (Print)1743-9213
ISSN (Electronic)1743-9221


  • Circumstellar matter
  • Instabilities
  • Outflows
  • Stars: evolution
  • Stars: mass loss
  • Stars: winds
  • Supernovae: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Eruptive outflow phases of massive stars'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this