EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 409, Number 2, October II 2003
Page(s) 715 - 735
Section Formation and evolution of planetary systems
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20031110

A&A 409, 715-735 (2003)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20031110

Mass-loss from dusty, low outflow-velocity AGB stars

I. Wind structure and mass-loss rates
J. M. Winters1, 2, T. Le Bertre2, K. S. Jeong2, L.-Å. Nyman3, 4 and N. Epchtein5

1  IRAM, 300 rue de la Piscine, 38406 St. Martin d'Hères, France
2  LERMA, UMR 8112, Observatoire de Paris, 61 Av. de l'Observatoire, 75014 Paris, France
3  Swedish-ESO Submillimetre Telescope, European Southern Observatory, Casilla 19001, Santiago 19, Chile
4  Onsala Space Observatory, 439 92 Onsala, Sweden
5  Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, BP 4229, 06304, Nice Cedex 4, France

(Received 26 March 2003 / Accepted 14 July 2003


We present the first results of a CO(2-1), (1-0), and 86 GHz SiO  maser survey of AGB stars, selected by their weak near-infrared excess. Among the 65 sources of the present sample we find 10 objects with low CO outflow velocities, $v_{\rm exp} \la 5\,$km s -1. Typically, these sources show (much) wider SiO maser features. Additionally, we get 5 sources with composite CO line profiles, i.e. a narrow feature is superimposed on a broader one, where both components are centered at the same stellar velocity. The gas mass-loss rates, outflow velocities and velocity structures suggested by these line profiles are compared with the results of hydrodynamical model calculations for dust forming molecular winds of pulsating AGB stars. The observations presented here give support to our recent low outflow-velocity models, in which only small amounts of dust are formed. Therefore, the wind generation in these models is dominated by stellar pulsation. We interpret the composite line profiles in terms of successive winds with different characteristics. Our hydrodynamical models, which show that the wind properties may be extremely sensitive to the stellar parameters, support such a scenario.

Key words: hydrodynamics -- stars: mass-loss -- stars: AGB and post-AGB -- stars: winds, outflows -- radio lines: stars

Offprint request: J. M. Winters, winters@iram.fr

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© ESO 2003