Variable Unidentified Emission Near 6307 AA in Eta Carinae

J. C. Martin[1], K. Davidson[1], F. Hamann[2], O. Stahl[3], K. Weis[4]

[1] School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Minnesota; [2] Dept of Astronomy, University of Florida; [3] Landessternwarte Heildelberg, Konigsstuhl; [4] Astronomisches Institut, Ruhr-Universitat Bochum

We have discovered a conspicuous unidentified variable feature near 6307 AA in the spectrum of Eta Carinae which is spatially unresolved from the central star and its wind (r < 200--300 AU). It is significant for two reasons: such prominent unidentified lines are now rare in this object, and this feature varies strongly and systematically. It exhibits a combination of characteristics which, so far as we know are unique in Eta Carinae's spectrum. It may provide insights into the recurrent spectroscopic events and the star's long-term brightening.

Reference: Accepted to appear in May 2006 PASP
Status: Manuscript has been accepted