EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 405, Number 1, July I 2003
Page(s) 165 - 174
Section Formation, structure and evolution of stars
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20030518

A&A 405, 165-174 (2003)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20030518

Ionization structure in the winds of B[e] supergiants

I. Ionization equilibrium calculations in a H plus He wind
M. Kraus and H. J. G. L. M. Lamers

Astronomical Institute, University of Utrecht, Princetonplein 5, 3584 CC Utrecht, The Netherlands
    e-mail: lamers@astro.uu.nl
(Received 11 October 2002 / Accepted 3 April 2003)

The non-spherically symmetric winds of B[e] supergiants are investigated. An empirical density distribution is chosen that accounts for the density concentrations and ratios derived from observations, and our model winds are assumed to contain only hydrogen and helium. We first calculate the approximate ionization radii for H and He and compare the results with the ionization fractions calculated from the more accurate ionization balance equations. We find that winds with a  r-2 density distribution turn out to reach a constant ionization fraction as long as the wind density is low, i.e. in polar direction. For the high density equatorial regions, however, we find that the winds become neutral just above the stellar surface of the hot and massive B[e] supergiants forming a disk-like neutral region. In such a disk molecules and dust can form even very near the hot central star.

Key words: supergiants -- stars: mass-loss -- stars: winds, outflows -- $\ion{H}{ii}$ regions

Offprint request: M. Kraus, m.kraus@phys.uu.nl

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