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Astron. Astrophys. 349, 467-474 (1999)

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The nature of strings in the nebula around [FORMULA] Carinae *

K. Weis **  1,2, W.J. Duschl 1,3 and Y.-H. Chu[FORMULA]  2

1 Institut für Theoretische Astrophysik, Tiergartenstrasse 15, D-69121 Heidelberg, Germany
2 University of Illinois, Department of Astronomy, 1002 W. Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
3 Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, D-53121 Bonn, Germany

Received 6 October 1998 / Accepted 5 July 1999

Abstract

[FORMULA] 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 long-slit 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 LBVs. Finally, we show that morphologically similar strings can be found in the planetary nebula NGC 6543, a possible PN-counterpart to this phenomenon.

Key words: stars: individual: j Car – stars: evolution – stars: mass-loss – ISM: bubbles – ISM: jets and outflows

* Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. under NASA contract No. NAS5-26555.
** Visiting Astronomer, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatories, operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under contract with the National Science Foundation.

Send offprint requests to: K. Weis, Heidelberg, Germany (kweis@ita.uni-heidelberg.de)

Correspondence to: K. Weis, Heidelberg, Germany

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: September 2, 1999
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