Volume 391, Number 3, September I 2002
|Page(s)||1053 - 1067|
|Section||Stellar structure and evolution|
|Published online||09 August 2002|
Mass loss rates of a sample of irregular and semiregular M-type AGB-variables
Stockholm Observatory, SCFAB, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden
2 Institut für Astronomie, Türkenschanzstrasse 17, 1180 Wien, Austria
3 Leiden Observatory, PO Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
Corresponding author: H. Olofsson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 4 June 2002
We have determined mass loss rates and gas expansion velocities for a sample of 69 M-type irregular (IRV; 22 objects) and semiregular (SRV; 47 objects) AGB-variables using a radiative transfer code to model their circumstellar CO radio line emission. We believe that this sample is representative for the mass losing stars of this type. The (molecular hydrogen) mass loss rate distribution has a median value of yr-1, and a minimum of yr-1 and a maximum of yr-1. M-type IRVs and SRVs with a mass loss rate in excess of yr-1 must be very rare, and among these mass losing stars the number of sources with mass loss rates below a few 10-8 yr-1 must be small. We find no significant difference between the IRVs and the SRVs in terms of their mass loss characteristics. Among the SRVs the mass loss rate shows no dependence on the period. Likewise the mass loss rate shows no correlation with the stellar temperature. The gas expansion velocity distribution has a median of 7.0 km s-1, and a minimum of 2.2 km s-1 and a maximum of 14.4 km s-1. No doubt, these objects sample the low gas expansion velocity end of AGB winds. The fraction of objects with low gas expansion velocities is very high, about 30% have velocities lower than 5 km s-1, and there are objects with velocities lower than 3 km s-1: V584 Aql, T Ari, BI Car, RX Lac, and L2 Pup. The mass loss rate and the gas expansion velocity correlate well, a result in line with theoretical predictions for an optically thin, dust-driven wind. In general, the model produces line profiles which acceptably fit the observed ones. An exceptional case is R Dor, where the high-quality, observed line profiles are essentially flat-topped, while the model ones are sharply double-peaked. The sample contains four sources with distinctly double-component CO line profiles, i.e., a narrow feature centered on a broader feature: EP Aqr, RV Boo, X Her, and SV Psc. We have modelled the two components separately for each star and derive mass loss rates and gas expansion velocities. We have compared the results of this M-star sample with a similar C-star sample analysed in the same way. The mass loss rate characteristics are very similar for the two samples. On the contrary, the gas expansion velocity distributions are clearly different. In particular, the number of low-velocity sources is much higher in the M-star sample. We found no example of the sharply double-peaked CO line profile, which is evidence of a large, detached CO-shell, among the M-stars. About 10% of the C-stars show this phenomenon.
Key words: stars: AGB and post-AGB / mass loss / circumstellar matter / late-type / radio lines: stars
© ESO, 2002
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