The sub-arcsecond dusty environment of Eta Carinae

O. Chesneau, M. Min, T. Herbst, L. B.F.M. Waters, D. J. Hillier, Ch Leinert, A. De Koter, I. Pascucci, W. Jaffe, R. Köhler, C. Alvarez, R. Van Boekel, W. Brandner, U. Graser, A. M. Lagrange, R. Lenzen, S. Morel, M. Schöller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

The core of the nebula surrounding Eta Carinae has been observed with the VLT Adaptive Optics system NACO and with the interferometer VLTI/MIDI to constrain spatially and spectrally the warm dusty environment and the central object. In particular, narrow-band images at 3.74 μm and 4.05 μm reveal the butterfly shaped dusty environment close to the central star with unprecedented spatial resolution. A void whose radius corresponds to the expected sublimation radius has been discovered around the central source. Fringes have been obtained in the Mid-IR which reveal a correlated flux of about 100 Jy situated 073 south-east of the photocenter of the nebula at 8.7 pm, which corresponds with the location of the star as seen in other wavelengths. This correlated flux is partly attributed to the central object, and these observations provide an upper limit for the SED of the central source from 2.2 μm to 13.5 μm. Moreover, we have been able to spectrally disperse the signal from the nebula itself at PA = 318 degree, i.e. in the direction of the bipolar nebula (∼310°) within the MIDI field of view of 3″. A large amount of corundum (Al2O3) is discovered, peaking at 0″.6-1″.2 south-east from the star, whereas the dust content of the Weigelt blobs is dominated by silicates. We discuss the mechanisms of dust formation which are closely related to the geometry of this Butterfly nebulae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1043-1061
Number of pages19
JournalAstronomy and astrophysics
Volume435
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Stars: circumstellar matter
  • Stars: early-type
  • Stars: individual: Eta Carinae
  • Stars: winds, outflows
  • Techniques: high angular resolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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