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Astron. Astrophys. 320, 568-574 (1997)

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3. The bipolar nebula of HR Car

The nebula around HR Car has been classified as "filamentary nebula" by Nota et al. (1995) although a bipolar structure is suggested in Clampin et al.'s (1995) coronographic image, the best image of HR Car available in literature. In this coronographic image, the HR Car nebula appears elongated along the position angle [FORMULA], with a size of approximately [FORMULA]. The southeast lobe is brighter; it consists of a few nebular knots surrounded by a circular arc extending to [FORMULA] from the star. The northwest lobe is fainter and less well-defined.

Our images of the HR Car nebula do not have as high a resolution as the coronographic image, but our images are not occulted by a bar and the stars are not saturated. Using the Strömgren y images, we identified stars near HR Car and marked the stars in Fig. 3 with asterisks. We confirm the visual companion at 3 [FORMULA] 5 east of HR Car reported by Hutsemékers & Van Drom (1991). This visual companion is about [FORMULA] fainter than HR Car. A y-band image of the HR Car and its companion is shown as an inset in Fig. 3.

Some of the non-stellar emission features along the refraction spikes are probably unreal, but the remaining diffuse emission features are real and belong to the bipolar nebula of HR Car. The polar axis measured from the central star and the southeast lobe is at [FORMULA]. The discrepancy of [FORMULA] between this measurement and that measured from the coronographic image is caused by the occulting bar which occulted the northern rim of the southeast lobe in the coronographic image. The size of the southeast lobe measured from our images is [FORMULA] along the polar axis and [FORMULA] perpendicular to the polar axis. The northwest lobe is faint; only the east rim of this lobe is easily seen in Fig. 3.

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: June 30, 1998