Volume 544, August 2012
|Number of page(s)||13|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||23 July 2012|
Modelling of dust around the symbiotic Mira RR Telescopii during obscuration epochs
Department of PhysicsU, niversity of Rijeka, Omladinska 14, 51000 Rijeka, Croatia
Received: 4 January 2012
Accepted: 29 March 2012
Context. Symbiotic Miras represent a class of peculiar binaries whose nature is still not well understood. Physical properties of the circumstellar dust and associated physical mechanisms play an important role in understanding the evolution of symbiotic binaries and the interaction between their components. We present a model of inner dust regions around the cool Mira component of the symbiotic nova RR Tel based on the near-IR terrestrial photometry and infrared ISO spectra.
Aims. Our goal is to find a comprehensive and consistent model of the circumstellar inner dust regions around the Mira component that can explain the observed photometric and spectroscopic features in the near- and mid-infrared.
Methods. Available JHKL photometric observations from South African Astronomical Observatory were collected and corrected for Mira pulsations as well as for interstellar reddening to follow temporal changes of the near-infrared colours. Spectral energy distributions (SEDs) from 1 to 13 μm during obscuration epoch were reconstructed with the simultaneously available ISO/SWS spectra and JHKL magnitudes. The dust properties were determined by modelling both the reconstructed SEDs and the near-IR colours using the DUSTY numerical code. This 1D code solves radiative transfer through the circumstellar dust by calculating the dust temperature profile assuming spherical symmetry.
Results. The Mira pulsation period of 387 days was found and confirmed with two independent fitting methods. A long-term variation of ~7000 days, which cannot be attributed to orbital motion, was obtained from the analysis of the near-IR magnitudes. Reconstructed infrared SEDs were modelled successfully by a single dust shell with dust distribution enhanced by radiatively driven stellar winds. Mira temperature, dust sublimation temperature, grain diameter, density distribution, and optical depth have been obtained. Our model shows a maximum dust grain diameter of 4 μm, which is larger than expected and can be explained by grain growth in conditions of increased mass loss during obscuration epochs. Obscurations in the near-IR can be understood as a result of change of the dust optical depth and of the mass loss rate of Mira component. Change of the dust temperature on the inner boundary of the dust shell with pulsation phase have been identified by SED modelling. Assuming a gas-to-dust ratio of 200, we found a variable mass loss rate between 2.3 and 9.0 × 10-6 M⊙/yr and estimated the distance to RR Tel to be 2.7 kpc. Our results suggest a relatively low influence of the hot component on circumstellar dust and strong shielding of dust from the UV flux.
Key words: binaries: symbiotic / circumstellar matter / radiative transfer / stars: AGB and post-AGB / infrared: stars
© ESO, 2012
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