On the optical–infra-red continuum emission from equatorial discs of supergiant B[e] stars
Astrophysics Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, Twelve Quays House, Egerton Wharf, Birkenhead, CH41 1LD, UK
Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 19 November 2002
Two models of the circumstellar disc around supergiant B[e] stars are discussed: an equatorial wind model produced by wind bi-stability, and a Keplerian viscous disc model. Both models are successful in providing a site for dust formation once they have cooled sufficiently. However, the optical–infra-red continuum is calculated and it is found that both models have significant trouble in accounting for observations. In particular the optical–near-IR emission is accounted for, but the dust emission is underestimated by at least an order of magnitude. Variations in the structure of the models (the temperature variation with radius, the density structure and the dust opacity) are investigated to assess how (in)appropriate the standard models are for supergiant B[e] star discs. Changing the temperature structure, and making simple dust opacity changes within the disc has little effect on the resultant continuum emission. By altering the density structure of the discs, the continuum may be accounted for by both models: the equatorial wind model requires a very flat density profile which is impossible to explain with any accelerating wind, and the viscous disc model's density structure is required to fall off less steeply with radius than would have been expected, although this may be explained from consideration of viscous processes in the disc. It is recognised that both theoretical interpretations have difficulties and unsolved problems.
Key words: stars: emission-line, Be / stars: supergiants / stars: circumstellar matter / stars: individual: R126 (HD 37974)
© ESO, 2003