AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 58 Eta Carinae
Poster, Tuesday, January 6, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Hanover Hall

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[58.07] Alternative orbital parameters for Eta Car's alleged companion star: ``panacea or placebo in a bottle?"

K. Ishibashi (MIT/CSR), K. Davidson, R. M. Humphreys (University of Minnesota), N. Smith (University of Colorado)

A consensus among some scientists suggests that Eta Carinae has a massive binary companion that revolves around the primary with a 5.5-yr period, although quantitative analysis to support the hypothesis is still lacking. One cause of the uncertainty is due to a lack of well-accepted orbital parameters to refute or prove the validity of a hypothesis rigorously.

In order to remedy the situation, Ishibashi (2001) has introduced a new orbital solution that puts the periastron passage roughly at 90 degrees away from outer conjunction. In this work we will examine this orbital model both quantitatively (based on RXTE/PCA and HST/STIS datasets) and qualitatively (with HST imaging datasets).

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.