Intrinsic Reddening of Eta Carinae


LAMBERT has pointed out a possible weakness in my derivation1 of the total colour excess of Eta Carinae on the basis of [FeII] lines measured from photoelectric spectral scans by Aller2, and has derived a higher value from a method which is undoubtedly sounder in principle. On the other hand, an inspection of Fig. 1 of my article1 suggests that the errors resulting from the assumption that the lines which I used can be represented by an excitation temperature are not very large. A similar conclusion can be drawn from Lambert's figure, in which the reddening relation that he derives from a comparison of emission lines with the same upper level is evidently not very different from a least-squares line through all the points, even if the departures from a Boltzmann population that he finds among certain individual levels are real.

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  1. 1

    Pagel, B. E. J., Nature, 221, 325 (1969).

  2. 2

    Aller, L. H., Proc. US Nat. Acad. Sci., 55, 671 (1966).

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    Aller, L. H., and Dunham, jun., T., Astrophys. J., 146, 126 (1966).

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    Wares, G. W., Aller, L. H., and Weston, E. B., Astron. J., 73, S208 (1968).

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    Aller, L. H., in Wolf–Rayet Stars (edit. by Gebbie, K. B. and Thomas, B. N.), 203 (NBS Special Pub. 307 1968).

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PAGEL, B. Intrinsic Reddening of Eta Carinae. Nature 223, 727–728 (1969).

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