A Caltech Library Service

Catching the Butterfly and the Homunculus of η Carinae with ALMA

Zapata, Luis A. and Loinard, Laurent and Fernández-López, Manuel and Toalá, Jesús A. and González, Ricardo F. and Rodríguez, Luis F. and Gull, Theodore R. and Morris, Patrick W. and Menten, Karl M. and Kamiński, Tomasz (2022) Catching the Butterfly and the Homunculus of η Carinae with ALMA. Astrophysical Journal, 935 (2). Art. No. 76. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ac7461.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The nature and origin of the molecular gas component located in the circumstellar vicinity of η Carinae are still far from being completely understood. Here, we present Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array CO(3−2) observations with a high angular resolution (∼0.″15) and a great sensitivity that are employed to reveal the origin of this component in η Carinae. These observations reveal much higher velocity (−300 to +270 km s⁻¹) blue- and redshifted molecular thermal emission than previously reported, which we associate with the lobes of the Homunculus Nebula, and which delineates very well the innermost contours of the red- and blueshifted lobes likely due to limb brightening. The inner contour of the redshifted emission was proposed to be a disrupted torus, but here we reveal that it is at least part of the molecular emission originating from the lobes and/or the expanding equatorial skirt. On the other hand, closer to systemic velocities (±100 km s⁻¹), the CO molecular gas traces an inner butterfly-shaped structure that is also revealed at near-IR and mid-IR wavelengths as the region in which the shielded dust resides. The location and kinematics of the molecular component indicate that this material has formed after the different eruptions of η Carinae.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Zapata, Luis A.0000-0003-2343-7937
Loinard, Laurent0000-0002-5635-3345
Fernández-López, Manuel0000-0001-5811-0454
Toalá, Jesús A.0000-0002-5406-0813
Rodríguez, Luis F.0000-0003-2737-5681
Gull, Theodore R.0000-0002-6851-5380
Morris, Patrick W.0000-0002-5186-4381
Menten, Karl M.0000-0001-6459-0669
Kamiński, Tomasz0000-0002-1113-9150
Additional Information:This paper makes use of the following ALMA data:ADS/JAO.ALMA#2016.1.00585.S. ALMA is a partnership of ESO (representing its member states), NSF (USA), and NINS (Japan), together with NRC (Canada), MOST and ASIAA (Taiwan), and KASI (Republic of Korea), in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. The Joint ALMA Observatory is operated by ESO, AUI/NRAO, and NAOJ. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. L.A.Z. acknowledges financial support from CONACyT-280775 and UNAM-PAPIIT IN110618 and IN103921 grants, México. L.F.R., is grateful with CONACyT, México, and DGAPA, UNAM for the financial support. J.A.T. acknowledges support from UNAM-PAPIIT IA100720 project and the Marcos Moshinsky Foundation. Part of this research is based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope obtained from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. We would like to thank Andrea Mehner for providing us an IR image of η Carinae. We would like also to thank the referee for carefully reading our manuscript and for giving constructive comments, which helped improve our study.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT)280775
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)IN110618
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)IN103921
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)IA100720
Marcos Moshinsky FoundationUNSPECIFIED
NASANAS 5-26555
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220909-225802000
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:116793
Deposited By: Olivia Warschaw
Deposited On:08 Nov 2022 22:34
Last Modified:08 Nov 2022 22:34

Repository Staff Only: item control page