Fr.: limite de Humphreys-Davidson
An empirical upper → luminosity boundary in the → H-R diagram. It consists of two sections, a sloping part and a horizontal part. The sloping part, which decreases with decreasing → effective temperature, corresponds roughly to the → Eddington limit. The horizontal part is the temperature-independent upper luminosity limit for late-type → hypergiants. It is thought that → massive stars above the Humphreys-Davidson limit encounter an → instability, possibly due to the opacity-modified Eddington limit, and experience high → mass loss episodes which prevent their evolution to cooler temperatures. → Luminous Blue Variable stars are examples of this high mass loss phase.
Named after Roberta M. Humphreys and Kris Davidson, who first dealt with this limit (1979, ApJ 232, 409); → limit.