Volume 612, April 2018
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Letters to the Editor|
|Published online||10 May 2018|
Letter to the Editor
Detection of CI line emission towards the oxygen-rich AGB star omi Ceti
Dept. of Space, Earth and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology, Onsala Space Observatory,
2 Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
3 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University, Box 516, 75120, Uppsala, Sweden
Accepted: 17 April 2018
We present the detection of neutral atomic carbon CI(3P1–3P0) line emission towards omi Cet. This is the first time that CI is detected in the envelope around an oxygen-rich M-type asymptotic giant branch (AGB) star. We also confirm the previously tentative CI detection around V Hya, a carbon-rich AGB star. As one of the main photodissociation products of parent species in the circumstellar envelope (CSE) around evolved stars, CI can be used to trace sources of ultraviolet (UV) radiation in CSEs. The observed flux density towards omi Cet can be reproduced by a shell with a peak atomic fractional abundance of 2.4 × 10−5 predicted based on a simple chemical model where CO is dissociated by the interstellar radiation field. However, the CI emission is shifted by ~4 km s−1 from the stellar velocity. Based on this velocity shift, we suggest that the detected CI emission towards omi Cet potentially arises from a compact region near its hot binary companion. The velocity shift could, therefore, be the result of the orbital velocity of the binary companion around omi Cet. In this case, the CI column density is estimated to be 1.1 × 1019 cm−2. This would imply that strong UV radiation from the companion and/or accretion of matter between two stars is most likely the origin of the CI enhancement. However, this hypothesis can be confirmed by high-angular resolution observations.
Key words: astrochemistry / stars: individual: omi Cet, V Hya / circumstellar matter / atomic processes / stars: abundances / stars: AGB and post-AGB
© ESO 2018
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