Volume 422, Number 2, August I 2004
|Page(s)||651 - 663|
|Section||Stellar structure and evolution|
|Published online||09 July 2004|
Probing the inner wind of AGB stars: Interferometric observations of SiO millimetre line emission from the oxygen-rich stars R Dor and L2 Pup
Stockholm Observatory, AlbaNova, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden e-mail: email@example.com
2 CSIRO Australia Telescope National Facility, PO Box 76, Epping NSW 1710, Australia
3 School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia
4 Onsala Space Observatory, 439 92 Onsala, Sweden
5 Institut für Astronomie, Türkenschanzstraße 17, 1180 Wien, Austria
Accepted: 8 April 2004
High angular resolution Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) observations of SiO “thermal” millimetre line emission towards the two oxygen-rich, low mass loss rate AGB stars R Dor and L2 Pup are presented. In both cases the emission is resolved with an overall spherical symmetry. Detailed radiative transfer modelling of the SiO line emission has been performed, and the comparison between observations and models are conducted in the visibility plane, maximizing the sensitivity. The excitation analysis suggests that the abundance of SiO is as high as in the inner part of the wind, close to the predicted values from stellar atmosphere models. Beyond a radius of cm the SiO abundance is significantly lower, about , until it decreases strongly at a radius of about cm. This is consistent with a scenario where SiO first freezes out onto dust grains, and then eventually becomes photodissociated by the interstellar UV-radiation field. In these low expansion velocity sources the turbulent broadening of the lines plays an important role in the line formation. Micro-turbulent velocity widths in the range km s-1 result in a very good reproduction of the observed line shapes even if the gas expansion velocity is kept constant. This, combined with the fact that the SiO and CO lines are well fitted using the same gas expansion velocity (to within %), suggest that the envelope acceleration occurs close to the stellar photosphere, within stellar radii.
Key words: stars: AGB and post-AGB / stars: carbon / stars: late-type / stars: mass-loss
© ESO, 2004
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