AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 114 Massive Binaries
Poster, Wednesday, 9:20am-6:30pm, January 11, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[114.05] The Character and Variability of the Eta Carinae Wind Lines

K. E. Nielsen (CUA & NASA/GSFC), M. F. Corcoran (USRA & NASA/GSFC), T. R. Gull (NASA/GSFC), S. Ivarsson (CUA & NASA/GSFC), J. D. Hillier (Univ. of Pittsburg)

The binarity of Eta Carinae has been debated for a long time. We have searched for more evidence for a companion star in a spectroscopic investigation of the Eta Carinae stellar wind lines, using moderate spectral and high angular resolution HST/STIS data. Over Eta Carinae's 5.54 year spectroscopic period many of the observable wind lines in the NUV/Optical spectral region exhibit peculiar line profiles with unusual velocity shifts relative to the system velocity. Some of the lines are exclusively blue-shifted over the entire cycle. Their ionization/excitation imply formation not in the stellar wind but rather in the interface between the two massive stars. We have analyzed velocity and intensity variations over the spectroscopic period and interpreted what the variations tell us about the geometry of the nebular structure close to Eta Carinae.

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