HST FOC Observations of Eta Carinae

G. Weigelt, R. Albrecht, C. Barbieri, J.C. Blades, A. Boksenberg, P. Crane, K. Davidson, J.M. Deharveng, M.J. Disney, M.J. Jakobson, T.M. Kamperman, I.R. King, F. Macchetto, C.D. Mackay, F. Paresce, G. Weigelt, P. Greenfield, R. Jedrzejewski, A. Nota, W.B. Sparks

Revista Mexicana de Astronomia Y Astrofisica, v.2, p.11-16 (1995)


The Faint Object Camera (FOC) on the HST was used to observe the inner regions of  n Carinae through the filters F550M, F307M, and F190M. n Carinae is a very massive LBV with spectacular episodic shell ejections at an enormous mass loss rate.  The new high-resolution FOC images resolved for the first time at visible and UV wavelengths the three speckle objects B, C, and D at separations of ~ 0.1 - 0.3".  In addition to these objects, new circumstellar structures were found.  The image of the central object A is more extended than the core of the corresponding PSF.  In the two UV images, a new ring-shaped nebulosity was discovered.  We discuss the HST FOC observation, compare the HST with the diffraction-limited speckle masking observations at near-IR wavelengths, and discuss the nature and motion of the objects near the dominant star.

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