Warm water vapor envelope in the supergiants α Ori and α Her and its effects on the apparent size from the near-infrared to the mid-infrared
Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 31 March 2004
We present a possible interpretation for the increase of the angular diameter of the supergiants α Ori (M 1-2 Ia-Ibe) and α Her (M 5 Ib-II) from the K band to the 11 μm region and the high-resolution 11 μm spectra without any salient spectral features revealed by Weiner et al. ([CITE]). The angular diameters as well as the high-resolution spectra of α Ori and α Her obtained in the 11 μm region can be reproduced by a warm water vapor envelope, whose presence in α Ori was revealed by Tsuji ([CITE]) based on the reanalysis of the near-infrared data obtained with the Stratoscope II. While prominent absorption due to H2O can be expected from such a dense, warm water vapor envelope, the absorption lines can be filled in by emission from the extended part of the envelope. This effect leads to a significant weakening of the H2O lines in the 11 μm region, and makes the observed spectra appear to be rather featureless and continuum-like. However, the emission due to H2O lines from the extended envelope leads to an increase of the apparent size in this spectral region. The observed angular diameter and the high resolution spectra of α Ori and α Her in the 11 μm region can be best interpreted by the water vapor envelope extending to 1.4-1.5 , with a temperature of ~2000 K and a column density of H2O of the order of 1020 cm-2.
Key words: infrared: stars / molecular processes / techniques: interferometric / stars: late-type / stars: supergiants / stars: individual: α Ori, α Her
© ESO, 2004