AAS 197, January 2001
Session 8. Circumstellar Matter and Winds
Display, Monday, January 8, 2001, 9:30am-7:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[8.14] Little Homunculus within the Homunculus of Eta Carinae

K. Ishibashi (NAS/NRC at NASA/GSFC/LASP), T. R. Gull (NASA/GSFC/LASP), K. Davidson (U. Minnesota), STIS ID Team

The famous HST/WFPC2 images of Eta Carinae provide a two-dimensional projection of the bipolar nebula that is really a three-dimensional structure. Much is hidden in subtle, projected details that a velocity-tuned instrument can pull apart. We have used the HST/STIS with a 52\arcsec\ \times 0.1\arcsec\ aperture and with ~ 5000 spectral resolving power to examine the kinetic information contained within emission/absorption features. By velocity tuning, we can translate this information into spatial structures.

The spectroscopic datasets have been transformed to a set of images, spaced at half instrumental line width steps, ~15 -- 20 km s-1, and with a spatial resolution of 0.1 \times 0.1 arcsec near Balmer beta and 0.25 \times 0.1 arcsec near Balmer alpha.

We examined these narrow-band images and individual spectra to characterize the nature of an internal nebula (formerly known as the Integral nebula). The shape of this nebulosity is an bipolar nebula, deeply embedded within the Homunculus, the well-known bipolar nebula surrounding Eta Carinae. The internal nebula is shaped nearly identically to the Homunculus. It is best described as a ``little Homunculus within the Homunculus''. Indeed, it is reminiscent of the Russian dolls, known as Matryoshka dolls, that successively nest within each larger doll. For that reason, we call this internal nebula the Matryoshka nebula.

This was performed as one of the STIS GTO key projects and was funded by the HST project. Observations were done through the STScI.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: bish@howdy.gsfc.nasa.gov

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