Herschel/HIFI observations of red supergiants and yellow hypergiants
European Space Astronomy Centre, Urb. Villafranca del Castillo, PO Box
2 Instituto de Radio Astronomía Milimétrica (IRAM), Avenida Divina Pastora 7, Local 20, 18012 Granada, Spain
3 Observatorio Astronómico Nacional (IGN), Ap 112, 28803 Alcalá de Henares, Spain
4 Observatorio Astronómico Nacional (IGN), Alfonso XII N° 3, 28014 Madrid, Spain
5 CAB, INTA-CSIC, Ctra de Torrejón a Ajalvir, km 4, 28850 Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid, Spain
6 Instituut voor Sterrenkunde, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200D, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
7 Sterrenkundig Instituut Anton Pannekoek, University of Amsterdam, Science Park 904, 1098 Amsterdam, The Netherlands
8 Department of Astrophysics/IMAPP, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
9 Onsala Space Observatory, Dept. of Radio and Space Science, Chalmers University of Technology, 43992 Onsala, Sweden
10 Astronomical Institute, Utrecht University, Princetonplein 5, 3584 CC Utrecht, The Netherlands
11 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
12 Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
13 The Johns Hopkins University, 3400 North Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
14 Department of Astronomy, AlbaNova University Center, Stockholm University, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden
15 N. Copernicus Astronomical Center, Rabiańska 8, 87-100 Toruń, Poland
16 SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Sorbonnelaan 2, 3584 CA Utrecht, The Netherlands
Received: 4 May 2012
Accepted: 26 July 2012
Context. Red supergiant stars (RSGs) and yellow hypergiant stars (YHGs) are believed to be the high-mass counterparts of stars in the asymptotic giant branch (AGB) and early post-AGB phases. As such, they are scarcer and the properties and evolution of their envelopes are still poorly understood.
Aims. We study the mass-loss in the post main-sequence evolution of massive stars, through the properties of their envelopes in the intermediate and warm gas layers. These are the regions where the acceleration of the gas takes place and the most recent mass-loss episodes can be seen.
Methods. We used the HIFI instrument on-board the Herschel Space Observatory to observe sub-millimetre and far-infrared (FIR) transitions of CO, water, and their isotopologues in a sample of two RSGs (NML Cyg and Betelgeuse) and two YHGs (IRC+10420 and AFGL 2343) stars. We present an inventory of the detected lines and analyse the information revealed by their spectral profiles. A comparison of the line intensity and shape in various transitions is used to qualitatively derive a picture of the envelope physical structure. On the basis of the results presented in an earlier study, we model the CO and 13CO emission in IRC+10420 and compare it to a set of lines ranging from the millimetre to the FIR.
Results. Red supergiants have stronger high-excitation lines than the YHGs, indicating that they harbour dense and hot inner shells contributing to these transitions. Consequently, these high-J lines in RSGs originate from acceleration layers that have not yet reached the circumstellar terminal velocity and have narrower profiles than their flat-topped lower-J counterparts. The YHGs tend to lack this inner component, in line with the picture of detached, hollow envelopes derived from studies at longer wavelengths. NH3 is only detected in two sources (NML Cyg and IRC+10420), which are also observed to be the strongest water-line emitters of the studied sample. In contrast, OH is detected in all sources and does not seem to correlate with the water line intensities. We show that the IRC+10420 model derived solely from millimetre low-J CO transitions is capable of reproducing the high-J transitions when the temperature in the inner shell is simply lowered by about 30%.
Key words: stars: AGB and post-AGB / supergiants / circumstellar matter / submillimeter: stars
Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA.
Appendix A is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
FITS files of the spectra are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (184.108.40.206) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/545/A99
© ESO, 2012