Volume 613, May 2018
|Number of page(s)||11|
|Section||Letters to the Editor|
|Published online||23 May 2018|
Letter to the Editor
Rotation of the asymptotic giant branch star R Doradus
Department of Space, Earth and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology, Onsala Space Observatory,
2 Instituto de Astronomía, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Km. 107 Carr. Tijuana-Ensenada, 22860 Ensenada B. C., Mexico
3 Departamento de Física Teórica, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain
4 Laboratoire d’astrophysique de Bordeaux, Univ. Bordeaux, CNRS, B18N, Allée Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 33615 Pessac, France
5 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
6 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University, Box 516, 751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Accepted: 12 April 2018
High-resolution observations of the extended atmospheres of asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars can now directly be compared to the theories that describe stellar mass loss. Using Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) high angular resolution (30 × 42 mas) observations, we have for the first time resolved stellar rotation of an AGB star, R Dor. We measure an angular rotation velocity of ωR sin i = (3.5 ± 0.3) × 10−9 rad s−1, which indicates a rotational velocity of |υrot sin i| = 1.0 ± 0.1 km s−1 at the stellar surface (R* = 31.2 mas at 214 GHz). The rotation axis projected on the plane of the sky has a position angle Φ = 7 ± 6°. We find that the rotation of R Dor is two orders of magnitude faster than expected for a solitary AGB star that will have lost most of its angular momentum. Its rotational velocity is consistent with angular momentum transfer from a close companion. As a companion has not been directly detected, we suggest R Dor has a low-mass, close-in companion. The rotational velocity approaches the critical velocity, set by the local sound speed in the extended envelope, and is thus expected to affect the mass-loss characteristics of R Dor.
Key words: stars: AGB and post-AGB / stars: rotation
© ESO 2018
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