Volume 657, January 2022
|Number of page(s)||14|
|Published online||18 January 2022|
Dynamic atmospheres and winds of cool luminous giants
II. Gradual Fe enrichment of wind-driving silicate grains
Theoretical Astrophysics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University,
2 Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia Galileo Galilei, Università di Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 3, 35122 Padova, Italy
3 Department of Astrophysics, Univ. of Vienna, Türkenschanzstraße 17, 1180 Wien, Austria
Accepted: 10 July 2021
Context. The winds observed around asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars are generally attributed to radiation pressure on dust formed in the extended dynamical atmospheres of these long-period variables. The composition of wind-driving grains is affected by a feedback between their optical properties and the resulting heating due to stellar radiation.
Aims. We explore the gradual Fe enrichment of wind-driving silicate grains in M-type AGB stars to derive typical values for Fe/Mg and to test the effects on wind properties and synthetic spectra.
Methods. We present new radiation-hydrodynamical DARWIN models that allow for the growth of silicate grains with a variable Fe/Mg ratio and predict mass-loss rates, wind velocities, and grain properties. Synthetic spectra and other observables are computed a posteriori with the COMA code.
Results. The self-regulating feedback between grain composition and radiative heating, in combination with quickly falling densities in the stellar wind, leads to low values of Fe/Mg, typically a few percent. Nevertheless, the new models show distinct silicate features around 10 and 18 microns. Fe enrichment affects visual and near-IR photometry moderately, and the new DARWIN models agree well with observations in (J − K) versus (V − K) and Spitzer color–color diagrams. The enrichment of the silicate dust with Fe is a secondary process, taking place in the stellar wind on the surface of large Fe-free grains that have initiated the outflow. Therefore, the mass-loss rates are basically unaffected, while the wind velocities tend to be slightly higher than in corresponding models with Fe-free silicate dust.
Conclusions. The gradual Fe enrichment of silicate grains in the inner wind region should produce signatures observable in mid-IR spectro-interferometrical measurements. Mass-loss rates derived from existing DARWIN models, based on Fe-free silicates, can be applied to stellar evolution models since the mass-loss rates are not significantly affected by the inclusion of Fe in the silicate grains.
Key words: stars: AGB and post-AGB / stars: atmospheres / stars: mass-loss / stars: winds, outflows / circumstellar matter
© ESO 2022
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