Volume 628, August 2019
|Number of page(s)||19|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||07 August 2019|
Study of CS, SiO, and SiS abundances in carbon star envelopes: assessing their role as gas-phase precursors of dust★,★★
Instituto de Física Fundamental, CSIC,
Accepted: 24 May 2019
Aims. We aim to determine the abundances of CS, SiO, and SiS in a large sample of carbon star envelopes covering a wide range of mass loss rates to investigate the potential role that these molecules could play in the formation of dust in the surroundings of the central AGB star.
Methods. We surveyed a sample of 25 carbon-rich AGB stars in the λ 2 mm band, more concretely in the J = 3−2 line of CS and SiO, and in the J = 7−6 and J = 8−7 lines of SiS, using the IRAM 30 m telescope. We performed excitation and radiative transfer calculations based on the large velocity gradient (LVG) method to model the observed lines of the molecules and to derive their fractional abundances in the observed envelopes. We also assessed the effect of infrared pumping in the excitation of the molecules.
Results. We detected CS in all 25 targeted envelopes, SiO in 24 of them, and SiS in 17 sources. Remarkably, SiS is not detected in any envelope with a mass loss rate below 10−6 M⊙ yr−1 while it is detected in all envelopes with mass loss rates above that threshold. We found that CS and SiS have similar abundances in carbon star envelopes, while SiO is present with a lower abundance. We also found a strong correlation in which the denser the envelope, the less abundant are CS and SiO. The trend is however only tentatively seen for SiS in the range of high mass loss rates. Furthermore, we found a relation in which the integrated flux of the MgS dust feature at 30 μm increases as the fractional abundance of CS decreases.
Conclusions. The decline in the fractional abundance of CS with increasing density could be due to gas-phase chemistry in the inner envelope or to adsorption onto dust grains. The latter possibility is favored by a correlation between the CS fractional abundance and the 30 μm feature, which suggests that CS is efficiently incorporated onto MgS dust around C-rich AGB stars. In the case of SiO, the observed abundance depletion with increasing density is most likely caused by an efficient incorporation onto dust grains. We conclude that CS, SiO (very likely), and SiS (tentatively) are good candidates to act as gas-phase precursors of dust in C-rich AGB envelopes.
Key words: astrochemistry / molecular processes / stars: abundances / stars: AGB and post-AGB / circumstellar matter
Reduced spectra (FITS) are available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (188.8.131.52) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/628/A62
© ESO 2019
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