67 research outputs found

    The dust production rate of AGB stars in the Magellanic Clouds

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    We compare theoretical dust yields for stars with mass 1 Msun < mstar < 8 Msun, and metallicities 0.001 < Z < 0.008 with observed dust production rates (DPR) by carbon- rich and oxygen-rich Asymptotic Giant Branch (C-AGB and O-AGB) stars in the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (LMC, SMC). The measured DPR of C-AGB in the LMC are reproduced only if the mass loss from AGB stars is very efficient during the carbon-star stage. The same yields over-predict the observed DPR in the SMC, suggesting a stronger metallicity dependence of the mass-loss rates during the carbon- star stage. DPR of O-AGB stars suggest that rapid silicate dust enrichment occurs due to efficient hot-bottom-burning if mstar > 3 Msun and Z > 0.001. When compared to the most recent observations, our models support a stellar origin for the existing dust mass, if no significant destruction in the ISM occurs, with a contribution from AGB stars of 70% in the LMC and 15% in the SMC.Comment: 12 pages, 8 figures, accepted by MNRA

    A study of photoionized gas in two HII regions of the N44 complex in the LMC using MUSE observations

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    We use the optical integral field observations with Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) on the Very Large Telescope, together with CLOUDY photoionization models to study ionization structure and physical conditions of two luminous HII regions in N44 star-forming complex of the Large Magellanic Cloud. The spectral maps of various emission lines reveal a stratified ionization geometry in N44 D1. The spatial distribution of [O I] 6300A emission in N44 D1 indicates a partially covered ionization front at the outer boundary of the H II region. These observations reveal that N44 D1 is a Blister HII region. The [O I] 6300A emission in N44 C does not provide a well-defined ionization front at the boundary, while patches of [S II] 6717 A and [O I] 6300A emission bars are found in the interior. The results of spatially resolved MUSE spectra are tested with the photoionization models for the first time in these HII regions. A spherically symmetric ionization-bounded model with a partial covering factor, which is appropriate for a Blister HII region can well reproduce the observed geometry and most of the diagnostic line ratios in N44 D1. Similarly, in N44 C we apply a low density and optically thin model based on the observational signatures. Our modeling results show that the ionization structure and physical conditions of N44 D1 are mainly determined by the radiation from an O5 V star. However, local X-rays, possibly from supernovae or stellar wind, play a key role. In N44 C, the main contribution is from three ionizing stars.Comment: Accepted for publication in Ap

    Evidence for the disruption of a planetary system during the formation of the Helix Nebula

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    The persistence of planetary systems after their host stars evolve into their post-main sequence phase is poorly constrained by observations. Many young white dwarf systems exhibit infrared excess emission and/or spectral absorption lines associated with a reservoir of dust (or planetesimals) and its accretion. However, most white dwarfs are too cool to sufficiently heat any circumstellar dust to detectable levels of emission. The Helix Nebula (NGC 7293) is a young, nearby planetary nebula; observations at mid- and far-infrared wavelengths revealed excess emission associated with its central white dwarf (WD 2226-210). The origin of this excess is ambiguous. It could be a remnant planetesimal belt, a cloud of comets, or the remnants of material shed during the post-asymptotic giant branch phase. Here we combine infrared (SOFIA, Spitzer, Herschel ) and millimetre (ALMA) observations of the system to determine the origin of this excess using multi-wavelength imaging and radiative transfer modelling. We find the data are incompatible with a compact remnant planetesimal belt or post-asymptotic giant branch disc, and conclude the dust most likely originates from deposition by a cometary cloud. The measured dust mass, and lifetime of the constituent grains, implies disruption of several thousand Hale-Bopp equivalent comets per year to fuel the observed excess emission around the Helix Nebula's white dwarf.Comment: 15 pages, 3 tables, 4 figures, accepted for publication in A

    Molecular hydrogen emission in the interstellar medium of the Large Magellanic Cloud

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    We present the detection and analysis of molecular hydrogen emission toward ten interstellar regions in the Large Magellanic Cloud. We examined low-resolution infrared spectral maps of twelve regions obtained with the Spitzer infrared spectrograph (IRS). The pure rotational 0--0 transitions of H2_2 at 28.2 and 17.1 μm{\,\rm \mu m} are detected in the IRS spectra for ten regions. The higher level transitions are mostly upper limit measurements except for three regions, where a 3σ\sigma detection threshold is achieved for lines at 12.2 and 8.6 μm{\,\rm \mu m}. The excitation diagrams of the detected H2_2 transitions are used to determine the warm H2_2 gas column density and temperature. The single-temperature fits through the lower transition lines give temperatures in the range 86−137 K86-137\,{\rm K}. The bulk of the excited H2_2 gas is found at these temperatures and contributes ∼\sim5-17% to the total gas mass. We find a tight correlation of the H2_2 surface brightness with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon and total infrared emission, which is a clear indication of photo-electric heating in photodissociation regions. We find the excitation of H2_2 by this process is equally efficient in both atomic and molecular dominated regions. We also present the correlation of the warm H2_2 physical conditions with dust properties. The warm H2_2 mass fraction and excitation temperature show positive correlations with the average starlight intensity, again supporting H2_2 excitation in photodissociation regions.Comment: Accepted for publication in MNRA
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