A change in the physical state of η carinae?

K. Davidson, J. Martin, R. M. Humphreys, K. Ishibashi, T. R. Gull, O. Stahl, K. Weis, D. J. Hillier, A. Damineli, M. Corcoran, F. Hamann

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46 Scopus citations


During 77 Car's spectroscopic event in mid-2003, the stellar wind's bright Hα and Hß emission lines temporarily had a distinctive shape unlike that reported on any previous occasion and particularly unlike the 1997-1998 event. Evidently the structure of the wind changed between 1997 and 2003. Combining this with other evidence, we suspect that the star may now be passing through a rapid stage in its recovery from the Great Eruption seen 160 years ago. In any case, the data indicate that successive spectroscopic events differ, and the hydrogen line profiles are quantitative clues to the abnormal structure of the wind during a spectroscopic event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)900-906
Number of pages7
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005


  • Binaries: general
  • Line: profiles
  • Stars: individual (η Carinae)
  • Stars: variables: other
  • Stars: winds, outflows


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