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Physical Sciences and Mathematics Commons

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Circumstellar matter

University of Kentucky

2011

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Full-Text Articles in Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Critical Differences And Clues In Eta Car's 2009 Event, Andrea Mehner, Kris Davidson, John C. Martin, Roberta M. Humphreys, Kazunori Ishibashi, Gary J. Ferland Oct 2011

Critical Differences And Clues In Eta Car's 2009 Event, Andrea Mehner, Kris Davidson, John C. Martin, Roberta M. Humphreys, Kazunori Ishibashi, Gary J. Ferland

Physics and Astronomy Faculty Publications

We monitored Eta Carinae with the Hubble Space Telescope WFPC2 and Gemini GMOS throughout the 2009 spectroscopic event, which was expected to differ from its predecessor in 2003. Here we report major observed differences between events and their implications. Some of these results were quite unexpected. (1) The UV brightness minimum was much deeper in 2009. This suggests that physical conditions in the early stages of an event depend on different parameters than the "normal" inter-event wind. Extra mass ejection from the primary star is one possible cause. (2) The expected He II λ4687 brightness maximum was followed several weeks ...