The nature of strings in the nebula around η Carinae

K. Weis, W. J. Duschl, Y. H. Chu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


η Carinae is one of the most extreme cases of a Luminous Blue Variable star. A bipolar nebula of 17″ size surrounds the central object. Even further out, a large amount of filamentary material extends to a distance of 30″ or about 0.3 pc. In this paper we present a detailed kinematic and morphological analysis of some outer filaments in this nebula which we call strings. All strings are extremly long and narrow structures. We identified 5 strings which have sizes of 0.058 to 0.177 pc in length and a width of only 0.002 pc. Using high-resolution longslit echelle spectroscopy it was found that the strings follow a Hubble law with velocities increasing towards larger distances from the star. With these unique properties, high collimation and linear increase of the radial velocity the strings represent a newly found phenomena in the structure and evolution of nebulae around LB Vs. Finally, we show that morphologically similar strings can be found in the planetary nebula NGC 6543, a possible PN-counterpart to this phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-474
Number of pages8
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999


  • ISM: bubbles
  • ISM: jets and outflows
  • Stars: evolution
  • Stars: individual: η Car
  • Stars: mass-loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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