N II λλ5668-5712: A New class of spectral features in eta Carinae

Andrea Mehner, Kris Davidson, Gary J. Ferland

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11 Scopus citations


We report on the N II λλ5668-5712 emission and absorption lines in the spectrum of η Carinae. Spectral lines of the stellar wind regions can be classified into four physically distinct categories: (1) low-excitation emission such as H I and Fe II, (2) higher-excitation He I features, (3) the N II lines discussed in this paper, and (4) He II emission. These categories have different combinations of radial velocity behavior, excitation processes, and dependences on the secondary star. The N II lines are the only known features that originate in "normal" undisturbed zones of the primary wind but depend primarily on the location of the hot secondary star. N II probably excludes some proposed models, such as those where He I lines originate in the secondary star's wind or in an accretion disk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number70
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 20 2011


  • stars: emission-line, Be
  • stars: individual (eta Carinae)
  • stars: variables: general
  • stars: winds, outflows


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