Volume 617, September 2018
|Number of page(s)||19|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||01 October 2018|
Submillimeter-wave emission of three Galactic red novae: cool molecular outflows produced by stellar mergers
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics,
60 Garden Street,
2 Instituto de Astronomía, OAN, UNAM, Ensenada, Mexico
3 Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center, Polish Academy of Sciences, Rabiańska 8, 87-100 Toruń, Poland
4 Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
Accepted: 23 May 2018
Red novae are optical transients erupting at luminosities typically higher than those of classical novae. Their outbursts are believed to be caused by stellar mergers. We present millimeter/submillimeter-wave observations with the Atacama Large (sub)Millimeter Array (ALMA) and the Submillimeter Array (SMA) of the three best-known Galactic red novae, V4332 Sgr, V1309 Sco, and V838 Mon. The observations were taken 22, 8, and 14 yr after their respective eruptions and reveal the presence of molecular gas at excitation temperatures of 35–200 K. The gas displays molecular emission in rotational transitions with very broad lines (full width ~400 km s−1). We found emission of CO, SiO, SO, SO2 (in all three red novae), H2S (covered only in V838 Mon), and AlO (present in V4332 Sgr and V1309 Sco). No anomalies were found in the isotopic composition of the molecular material, and the chemical (molecular) compositions of the three red novae appear similar to those of oxygen-rich envelopes of classical evolved stars (RSGs, AGBs, post-AGBs). The minimum masses of the molecular material that was most likely dispersed in the red-nova eruptions are 0.05, 0.01, and 10−4 M⊙ for V838 Mon, V4332 Sgr, and V1309 Sco, respectively. The molecular outflows in V4332 Sgr and V1309 Sco are spatially resolved and appear bipolar. The kinematic distances to V1309 Sco and V4332 Sgr are 2.1 and 4.2 kpc, respectively. The kinetic energy stored in the ejecta of the two older red-nova remnants of V838 Mon and V4332 Sgr is of the order of 1046 erg, similar to values found for some post-AGB (pre-PN) objects whose bipolar ejecta were also formed in a short-duration eruption. Our observations strengthen the link between these post-AGB objects and red novae and support the hypothesis that some of the post-AGB objects were formed in a common-envelope ejection event or its most catastrophic outcome, a merger.
Key words: stars: mass-loss / stars: individual: V1309 Sco / stars: individual: V4332 Sgr / stars: individual: V838 Mon / circumstellar matter / submillimeter: stars / astrochemistry
© ESO 2018
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