Volume 384, Number 2, MarchIII 2002
|Page(s)||585 - 593|
|Section||Stellar structure and evolution|
|Published online||15 March 2002|
Dust and the spectral energy distribution of the OH/IR star OH 127.8+0.0: Evidence for circumstellar metallic iron*
Astronomical Institute “Anton Pannekoek”, University of Amsterdam, Kruislaan 403, 1098 SJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2 Instituut voor Sterrenkunde, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200B, 3001 Heverlee, Belgium
3 Kapteijn Institute, University of Groningen, PO Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen, The Netherlands
4 SRON Laboratory for Space Research, PO Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen, The Netherlands
Corresponding author: F. Kemper, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 7 January 2002
We present a fit to the spectral energy distribution of OH 127.8+0.0, a typical asymptotic giant branch star with an optically thick circumstellar dust shell. The fit to the dust spectrum is achieved using non-spherical grains consisting of metallic iron, amorphous and crystalline silicates and water ice. Previous similar attempts have not resulted in a satisfactory fit to the observed spectral energy distributions, mainly because of an apparent lack of opacity in the 3–8 μm region of the spectrum. Non-spherical metallic iron grains provide an identification for the missing source of opacity in the near-infrared. Using the derived dust composition, we have calculated spectra for a range of mass-loss rates in order to perform a consistency check by comparison with other evolved stars. The μm] colours of these models correctly predict the mass-loss rate of a sample of AGB stars, strengthening our conclusion that the metallic iron grains dominate the near-infrared flux. We discuss a formation mechanism for non-spherical metallic iron grains.
Key words: stars: AGB and post-AGB / circumstellar matter / dust, extinction / radiative transfer / infrared: stars
© ESO, 2002
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