From the April 2007 issue

A conversation with John Martin

Get the lowdown on Eta Carinae's mysteries from astronomer John Martin.
By | Published: April 23, 2007 | Last updated on May 18, 2023
John Martin
Assistant professor John Martin of the University of Illinois, Springfield
John Martin
John Martin
Eta Carinae is “a hard one to get your head around,” says John Martin, assistant professor of astronomy/physics at the University of Illinois, Springfield. Before taking this position in 2006, Martin spent 3 years doing postdoctoral research at the University of Minnesota, where he worked on the Hubble Space Telescope Eta Carina Treasury Project.

The program is a vast resource of data on the star, most notably high-resolution spectra taken with Hubble’s Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS). The instrument ceased working in late 2004.

“No other instrument that exists in reality or on a designer’s work table will be able to do what STIS did for our understanding of Eta Carinae,” Martin declares. “We’re partially blinded now and we aren’t learning as much as we had been.”

Associate Editor Francis Reddy spoke with Martin at the American Astronomical Society’s Seattle meeting January 10, 2007.

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