AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 74. Eta Carinae
Display, Wednesday, June 2, 1999, 10:00am-6:30pm, Southeast Exhibit Hall

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[74.04] STIS Data on the Geometry of the Homunculus

K. Davidson, K. Ishibashi (University of Minnesota), T.R. Gull (NASA/GSFC/LASP)

Our March 1998 HST/STIS observations of Eta Carinae used a slit orientation which crossed both lobes of the ``Homunculus'' ejecta-nebula, not far from the bipolar axis. Thus we can measure velocities of stellar spectral features reflected by dust in the configuration, with better spatial resolution than previous ground-based data. Moreover, the P-Cygni-style absorption of Balmer Alpha was deeper than normal because Eta's 1997-98 spectroscopic event was in progress; this provides an unusually good marker for reflected velocities. These apparent velocities give information about the geometrical structure of the ejecta. The results differ somewhat from all the most popular existing models.

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