EDP Sciences
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Volume 438, Number 1, July IV 2005
Page(s) 273 - 289
Section Stellar structure and evolution
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20042555

A&A 438, 273-289 (2005)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20042555

An empirical formula for the mass-loss rates of dust-enshrouded red supergiants and oxygen-rich Asymptotic Giant Branch stars

J. Th. van Loon1, M.-R. L. Cioni2, 3, A. A. Zijlstra4 and C. Loup5

1  Astrophysics Group, School of Physical & Geographical Sciences, Keele University, Staffordshire ST5 5BG, UK
    e-mail: jacco@astro.keele.ac.uk
2  European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild Straße 2, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany
3  Institute for Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Royal Observatory, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ, UK
4  School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manchester, Sackville Street, PO Box 88, Manchester M60 1QD, UK
5  Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, 98bis boulevard Arago, 75014 Paris, France

(Received 16 December 2004 / Accepted 12 April 2005)

We present an empirical determination of the mass-loss rate as a function of stellar luminosity and effective temperature, for oxygen-rich dust-enshrouded Asymptotic Giant Branch stars and red supergiants. To this aim we obtained optical spectra of a sample of dust-enshrouded red giants in the Large Magellanic Cloud, which we complemented with spectroscopic and infrared photometric data from the literature. Two of these turned out to be hot emission-line stars, of which one is a definite B[e] star. The mass-loss rates were measured through modelling of the spectral energy distributions. We thus obtain the mass-loss rate formula $\log \dot{M} = -5.65 + 1.05 \log ( L /
10\,000\, {L}_\odot ) -6.3 \log ( T_{\rm eff} / 3500\, {\rm K} )$, valid for dust-enshrouded red supergiants and oxygen-rich AGB stars. Despite the low metallicity of the LMC, both AGB stars and red supergiants are found at late spectral types. A comparison with galactic AGB stars and red supergiants shows excellent agreement between the mass-loss rate as predicted by our formula and that derived from the 60 $\mu$m flux density for dust-enshrouded objects, but not for optically bright objects. We discuss the possible implications of this for the mass-loss mechanism.

Key words: stars: AGB and post-AGB  -- stars: carbon -- stars: mass-loss -- supergiants -- Magellanic Clouds -- infrared: stars

SIMBAD Objects

© ESO 2005