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Paper: Physical Conditions in the Homunculus
Volume: 332, The Fate of the Most Massive Stars
Page: 294
Authors: Ferland, G.J.; Abel, N.; Davidson, K.; Smith, N.
Abstract: Conditions within the Homunculus nebula around η Car are determined by many of the same physical processes that occur in molecular clouds in the interstellar medium. But there is one major exception—we know when the ejection occurred and something about its composition and initial state. The gas was warm, ionized, and dust-free when it was located within the star's atmosphere and it is currently cold, molecular, and dusty. It undertook this transformation in a bit over 150 years. It offers a laboratory for the study of physical processes in a well-constrained environment. We derive a photoionization model of the Homunculus nebula that reproduces many of its observed properties. We conclude by outlining how observations of the Homunculus could address basic problems in the physics of the interstellar medium.
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