March 2023 • 2023MNRAS.519.5882S
Abstract • The binary η Carinae is the closest example of a very massive star, which may have formed through a merger during its Great Eruption in the mid-19th century. We aimed to confirm and improve the kinematics using a spectroscopic data set taken with the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory 1.5-m telescope over the time period of 2008-2020, covering three periastron passages of the highly eccentric orbit. We measure line variability of H α and H β, where the radial velocity and orbital kinematics of the primary star were measured from the H β emission line using a bisector method. At phases away from periastron, we observed the He II 4686 emission moving opposite the primary star, consistent with a possible Wolf-Rayet companion, although with a seemingly narrow emission line. This could represent the first detection of emission from the companion.