Volume 393, Number 1, October I 2002
|Page(s)||L7 - L10|
|Published online||18 September 2002|
Letter to the Editor
On the origin of the 19.5 m feature*
Identifying circumstellar Mg-Fe-oxides
Institut für Astronomie, Türkenschanzstraße 17, 1180 Wien, Austria
2 Astrophysikalisches Institut und Universitätssternwarte, Schillergässchen 3, 07745 Jena, Germany
Corresponding author: Th. Posch, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 2 August 2002
We report the detection of a broad, prominent 19.5 μm dust emission feature in ISO-SWS spectra. It is especially conspicuous in the spectra of low mass-loss AGB stars belonging to the variability classes SRb and Lb with relatively high photospheric temperatures. The feature carrier is proposed to be Mg0.1Fe0.9O, a solid solution of MgO (periclase) and FeO (wustite). This dust species has cubic crystal symmetry like spinel, the carrier of the 13, 16.8 and 31.8 μm spectral features, with which the 19.5 μm feature is being observed. A broad emission plateau between 11 and 15 μm, which is attributable to amorphous Al2O3, is also detected together with the 19.5 μm and the spinel features. As a consequence of our discovery, we postulate the existence of a distinct class of circumstellar shells, dominated by oxide and not by silicate dust.
Key words: stars: circumstellar matter / stars: formation / stars: AGB and post-AGB / solar system: formation / methods: laboratory
© ESO, 2002
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