The eddington luminosity limit for multiphased media

Nir J. Shaviv*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


We consider the effective Eddington luminosity in a locally inhomogeneous medium by averaging out the coarse, small-scale behavior. We show that the ratio between the emitted flux and the average radiation force changes. The mean luminosity therefore can theoretically exceed the classical Eddington limit. It is further shown that acoustic modes are unstable under most relevant conditions, and they unavoidably grow in such a way that they change the effective limiting Eddington luminosity. The instability and the increased limiting luminosity can explain the observed super-Eddington luminosity phenomenon in novae.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)L193-L197
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART II
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Novae, cataclysmic variables
  • Radiative transfer


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