EDP Sciences
Free Access
Volume 368, Number 3, March IV 2001
Page(s) 1006 - 1020
Section Formation, structure and evolution of stars
DOI https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20010098
Published online 15 March 2001

A&A 368, 1006-1020 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20010098

Properties of OH/IR stars with IRAS LRS spectra

P. S. Chen1, 2, 3, R. Szczerba3, 2, S. Kwok2 and K. Volk2

1  Yunnan Observatory and United Laboratory of Optical Astronomy, CAS, Kunming 650011, China
2  Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4, Canada
3  N. Copernicus Astronomical Center, Rabianska 8, 87-100 Torun, Poland

(Received 31 January 2000 / Accepted 11 January 2001 )

1858 OH satellite line (1612 MHz) maser sources associated with the IRAS counterparts were assembled from the literature. Cross-correlation between collected OH/IR -IRAS sources and the recent catalogue of the IRAS LRS spectra (Kwok et al. 1997) allows us to subdivide 1024 of them (after excluding OH sources with uncertain IRAS associations) into 10 groups according to the Volk & Cohen (1989) classification scheme. We have found that sources with silicate emission form the largest group (about 57% ), followed by the group with silicate absorption (only about 16% ). For more sensitive individual OH maser surveys these numbers differentiate even more and the ratio between silicate emission and absorption sources reaches a value close to 6. Surprisingly, we found an association of OH maser emission with a small number of stars with carbon-rich atmospheres. The distribution of these subgroups of OH/IR stars in the IRAS colour-colour and the period-colour diagrams as well as histograms of some physical properties are presented. The galactic distribution of important parameters (periods, IRAS colours, expansion and stellar velocities) for different classes of OH/IR sources is analyzed from the point of view of the stars' evolutionary status. The correlations among the periods, colours, expansion and star velocities and the pumping efficiencies for selected subgroups of OH/IR stars are also investigated. These analyses allow us to demonstrate that a significant fraction of silicate emission group sources do not form an evolutionary sequence with the silicate absorption objects -as is suggested e.g. by the IRAS colour-colour diagram, but rather form a lower initial mass sequence, i.e. these sources will never develop sufficient mass loss to manifest silicate absorption.

Key words: masers -astronomical data bases: miscellaneous -stars: AGB and post-AGB -(stars:) circumstellar matter

Offprint request: R. Szczerba, szczerba@ncac.torun.pl

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