The nature of ultraviolet spectra of AG Pegasi and other symbiotic stars: locations, origins, and excitation mechanisms of emission lines
University College of Kalmar, 391 82 Kalmar, Sweden
2 Atomic Astrophysics, Lund Observatory, Lund University, Box 43, 221 00 Lund, Sweden
Accepted: 4 December 2005
A detailed study of ultraviolet spectra of the symbiotic star AG Peg has been undertaken to derive the atomic excitation mechanisms and origin of formation for the lines common in symbiotic systems. More than 600 emission lines are observed in spectra from , and of which 585 are identified. Population mechanisms and origin of formation are given for a majority of those lines. Based on the understanding of the AG Peg spectra data of 19 additional symbiotic stars are investigated and differences and similarities of their spectra are discussed. Fe II fluorescence lines pumped by strong emission lines between 1000 and 2000 Å are observed in 13 of these systems. Some of the symbiotic systems belonging to the subclass symbiotic novae have more than 100 Fe II fluorescence lines in the ultraviolet wavelength region. Forbidden lines are detected for 13 of the stars, mostly from highly-ionized spectra such as Ar V, Ne V and Mg V. Further, [Mg VI] and [Mg VII] lines are observed in a symbiotic star (AG Dra) for the first time. Five of the symbiotic stars have broad white-dwarf wind profiles ( km s-1) for a few lines in their spectra. The stars with no such broad lines can be divided into two similarly sized groups, one where all lines have FWHM less than 70 km s-1 and the other where one, a few or all of the broad ( km s-1) lines of AG Peg have an enhanced broad wing (110–140 km s-1).
Key words: atomic processes / line: formation / stars: binaries: symbiotic / ultraviolet: stars
© ESO, 2006