3D Radiative Transfer in η Carinae: Application of the SimpleX Algorithm to 3D SPH Simulations of Binary Colliding Winds

N. Clementel (1), T. I. Madura (2), C. J. H. Kruip (1), V. Icke (1), T. R. Gull (2)

(1) Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, the Netherlands
(2) Astrophysics Science Division, Code 667, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA

Eta Carinae is an ideal astrophysical laboratory for studying massive binary interactions and evolution, and stellar wind-wind collisions. Recent three-dimensional (3D) simulations set the stage for understanding the highly complex 3D flows in η Car. Observations of different broad high- and low-ionization forbidden emission lines provide an excellent tool to constrain the orientation of the system, the primary’s mass-loss rate, and the ionizing flux of the hot secondary. In this work we present the first steps towards generating synthetic observations to compare with available and future HST/STIS data. We present initial results from full 3D radiative transfer simulations of the interacting winds in η Car. We use the SimpleX algorithm to post-process the output from 3D SPH simulations and obtain the ionization fractions of hy- drogen and helium assuming three different mass-loss rates for the primary star. The resultant ionization maps of both species constrain the regions where the observed forbidden emission lines can form. Including collisional ionization is necessary to achieve a better description of the ionization states, especially in the areas shielded from the secondary’s radiation. We find that reducing the primary’s mass-loss rate increases the volume of ionized gas, creating larger areas where the forbidden emission lines can form. We conclude that post processing 3D SPH data with SimpleX is a viable tool to create ionization maps for η Car.

Reference: Clementel et al., 2014, MNRAS (accepted)
Status: Manuscript has been accepted

Weblink: http://arxiv.org/abs/1406.7240


Email: clementel@strw.leidenuniv.nl