Volume 629, September 2019
|Number of page(s)||19|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||18 September 2019|
IRC + 10°216 mass loss properties through the study of λ3 mm emission
Large spatial scale distribution of SiO, SiS, and CS★
Department of Space, Earth and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology, Onsala Space Observatory,
2 Instituto de Física Fundamental (IFF–CSIC), Serrano 123, Madrid, CP 28006, Spain
3 Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique, 300 Rue de la Piscine, 38406 Saint-Martin d’Hères, France
Accepted: 6 July 2019
Low-mass evolved stars are major contributors to interstellar medium enrichment as a consequence of the intense mass-loss process these stars experience at the end of their lives. The study of the gas in the envelopes surrounding asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars through observations in the millimetre wavelength range provides information about the history and nature of these molecular factories. Here we present ALMA observations at subarsecond resolution, complemented with IRAM-30 m data, of several lines of SiO, SiS, and CS towards the best-studied AGB circumstellar envelope, IRC + 10°216. We aim to characterise their spatial distribution and determine their fractional abundances mainly through radiative transfer and chemical modelling. The three species display extended emission with several enhanced emission shells. CS displays the most extended distribution reaching distances up to approximately 20′′. SiS and SiO emission have similar sizes of approximately 11′′, but SiS emission is slightly more compact. We have estimated fractional abundances relative to H2, which on average are equal to f(SiO) ~10−7, f(SiS) ~10−6, and f(CS) ~10−6 up to the photo-dissociation region. The observations and analysis presented here show evidence that the circumstellar material displays clear deviations from an homogeneous spherical wind, with clumps and low density shells that may allow UV photons from the interstellar medium (ISM) to penetrate deep into the envelope, shifting the photo-dissociation radius inwards. Our chemical model predicts photo-dissociation radii compatible with those derived from the observations, although it is unable to predict abundance variations from the starting radius of the calculations (~10 R*), which may reflect the simplicity of the model. We conclude that the spatial distribution of the gas proves the episodic and variable nature of the mass loss mechanism of IRC + 10°216, on timescales of hundreds of years.
Key words: stars: AGB and post-AGB / circumstellar matter / stars: individual: IRC+10216
The reduced datacubes are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (126.96.36.199) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/cat/J/A+A/629/A146
© ESO 2019
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