Volume 402, Number 1, April IV 2003
|Page(s)||211 - 228|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||07 April 2003|
The circumstellar envelope of the C-rich post-AGB star HD 56126*
Astronomical Institute “Anton Pannekoek”, Kruislaan 403, 1098 SJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2 RSSD-ESA/ESTEC, PO Box 299, 2200 AG Noordwijk, The Netherlands
3 SRON Laboratory for Space Research Groningen, PO Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen, The Netherlands
4 Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, PO Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen, The Netherlands
5 Instituut voor Sterrenkunde, KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200B, 3001 Heverlee, Belgium
Corresponding author: S. Hony, email@example.com
Accepted: 14 February 2003
We present a detailed study of the circumstellar envelope of the post-asymptotic giant branch “21 μm object” HD 56126. We build a detailed dust radiative transfer model of the circumstellar envelope in order to derive the dust composition and mass, and the mass-loss history of the star. To model the emission of the dust we use amorphous carbon, hydrogenated amorphous carbon, magnesium sulfide and titanium carbide. We present a detailed parametrisation of the optical properties of hydrogenated amorphous carbon as a function of H/C content. The mid-infrared imaging and spectroscopy is best reproduced by a single dust shell from 1.2 to 2.6″ radius around the central star. This shell originates from a short period during which the mass-loss rate exceeded 10/yr. We find that the strength of the “21” μm feature poses a problem for the TiC identification. The low abundance of Ti requires very high absorption cross-sections in the ultraviolet and visible wavelength range to explain the strength of the feature. Other nano-crystalline metal carbides should be considered as well. We find that hydrogenated amorphous carbon in radiative equilibrium with the local radiation field does not reach a high enough temperature to explain the strength of the 3.3–3.4 and 6–9 μm hydrocarbon features relative to the 11–17 μm hydrocarbon features. We propose that the carriers of these hydrocarbon features are not in radiative equilibrium but are transiently heated to high temperature. We find that 2 per cent of the dust mass is required to explain the strength of the “30” μm feature, which fits well within the measured atmospheric abundance of Mg and S. This further strengthens the MgS identification of the “30” μm feature.
Key words: stars: individual: HD 56126 / stars: AGB and post-AGB / stars: carbon / circumstellar matter / stars: mass-loss / infrared: stars
© ESO, 2003
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