Volume 406, Number 3, August II 2003
|Page(s)||981 - 985|
|Section||Stellar structure and evolution|
|Published online||17 November 2003|
The evolution of V4334 Sgr (Sakurai's object) in the Mid-Infrared
European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
2 Department of Physics and Astronomy, MS 108, Rice University, 6100 S. Main St, Houston, TX 77005, USA
3 Los Alamos National Laboratory, X-1, PO Box 1663, MS P225, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
4 Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85748 Garching, Germany e-mail: email@example.com (Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile, proposals 65.L-0702, 67.D-0413, 68.D-0542.)
Corresponding author: H. U. Käufl, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 15 May 2003
Since Sakurai's object (V4334 Sgr) underwent a late helium flash in 1995, its fast evolution has been monitored with great effort. We present TIMMI and TIMMI 2 photometric observations covering a spectral range from 5 to 20 m with a total of 8 filters. We found drastic changes in the spectral energy distribution indicating a drop of temperature in the dust envelope from 1000 to 600 K in half a year only. Combined with optical observations reported elsewhere, we conclude that the phase of dust formation has probably stopped in mid-2001 and that the dusty envelope has been expanding only, ever since. An expansion velocity of about 1000 km s-1 is required to explain the rapid cooling. Other optical and near-infrared observations support the existence of such high velocity flows in the envelope of V4334 Sgr. An estimate for the bolometric luminosity of ≈ is derived for a distance of 1 kpc. Taking into account theoretical models a distance of kpc to V4334 Sgr is suggested. As a consequence of its fast final helium flash evolution, Sakurai's object may start to destroy its surrounding dust in the not too distant future.
Key words: stars: AGB and post-AGB / stars: evolution / circumstellar matter / planetary nebulae: individual: Sakurai's Object (V4334 Sgr)
© ESO, 2003
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