77 research outputs found

    The detached dust shells around the carbon AGB stars R Scl and V644 Sco

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    Detached shells are believed to be created during a thermal pulse, and constrain the time scales and physical properties of one of the main drivers of late stellar evolution. We aim at determining the morphology of the detached dust shells around the carbon AGB stars R Scl and V644 Sco, and compare this to observations of the detached gas shells. We observe the polarised, dust-scattered stellar light around these stars using the PolCor instrument mounted on the ESO 3.6m telescope. Observations were done with a coronographic mask to block out the direct stellar light. The polarised images clearly show the detached shells. Using a dust radiative transfer code to model the dust-scattered polarised light, we constrain the radii and widths of the shells to 19.5 arcsec and 9.4 arcsec for the detached dust shells around R Scl and V644 Sco, respectively. Both shells have an overall spherical symmetry and widths of approx. 2 arcsec. For R Scl we can compare the observed dust emission directly with high spatial-resolution maps of CO(3-2) emission from the shell observed with ALMA. We find that the dust and gas coincide almost exactly, indicating a common evolution. The data presented here for R Scl are the most detailed observations of the entire dusty detached shell to date. For V644 Sco these are the first direct measurements of the detached shell. Also here we find that the dust most likely coincides with the gas shell. The observations are consistent with a scenario where the detached shells are created during a thermal pulse. The determined radii and widths will constrain hydrodynamical models describing the pre-pulse mass loss, the thermal pulse, and post-pulse evolution of the star

    An Infrared Study of the Circumstellar Material Associated with the Carbon Star R Sculptoris

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    The asymptotic giant branch (AGB) star R Sculptoris (R Scl) is one of the most extensively studied stars on the AGB. R Scl is a carbon star with a massive circumstellar shell (Mshell7.3×103 MM_{shell}\sim 7.3\times10^{-3}~M_{\odot}) which is thought to have been produced during a thermal pulse event 2200\sim2200 years ago. To study the thermal dust emission associated with its circumstellar material, observations were taken with the Faint Object InfraRed CAMera for the SOFIA Telescope (FORCAST) at 19.7, 25.2, 31.5, 34.8, and 37.1 μ\mum. Maps of the infrared emission at these wavelengths were used to study the morphology and temperature structure of the spatially extended dust emission. Using the radiative transfer code DUSTY and fitting the spatial profile of the emission, we find that a geometrically thin dust shell cannot reproduce the observed spatially resolved emission. Instead, a second dust component in addition to the shell is needed to reproduce the observed emission. This component, which lies interior to the dust shell, traces the circumstellar envelope of R Scl. It is best fit by a density profile with nrαn \propto r^{\alpha} where α=0.750.25+0.45\alpha=0.75^{+0.45}_{-0.25} and dust mass of Md=9.04.1+2.3×106 MM_d=9.0^{+2.3}_{-4.1}\times10^{-6}~M_{\odot}. The strong departure from an r2r^{-2} law indicates that the mass-loss rate of R Scl has not been constant. This result is consistent with a slow decline in the post-pulse mass-loss which has been inferred from observations of the molecular gas.Comment: 10 pages, 10 figures, accepted to Ap

    Polarization of thermal molecular lines in the envelope of IK Tauri

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    Molecular line polarization is a unique source of information about the magnetic fields and anisotropies in the circumstellar envelopes of evolved stars. Here we present the first detection of thermal CO(J = 2 -> 1) and SiO(J = 5 -> 4, nu = 0) polarization, in the envelope of the asymptotic giant branch star IK Tau. The observed polarization direction does not match predictions for circumstellar envelope polarization induced only by an anisotropic radiation field. Assuming that the polarization is purely due to the Goldreich-Kylafis effect, the linear polarization direction is defined by the magnetic field as even the small Zeeman splitting of CO and SiO dominates the molecular collisional and spontaneous emission rates. The polarization was mapped using the Submillimeter Array (SMA) and is predominantly north-south. There is close agreement between the CO and SiO observations, even though the CO polarization arises in the circumstellar envelope at similar to 800 AU and the SiO polarization at less than or similar to 250 AU. If the polarization indeed traces the magnetic field, we can thus conclude that it maintains a large-scale structure throughout the circumstellar envelope. We propose that the magnetic field, oriented either east-west or north-south is responsible for the east-west elongation of the CO distribution and asymmetries in the dust envelope. In the future, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array will be able to map the magnetic field using CO polarization for a large number of evolved stars

    First detection of methanol towards a post-AGB object, HD101584

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    The circumstellar environments of objects on the asymptotic giant branch and beyond are rich in molecular species. Nevertheless, methanol has never been detected in such an object, and is therefore often taken as a clear signpost for a young stellar object. However, we report the first detection of CH3OH in a post-AGB object, HD101584, using ALMA. Its emission, together with emissions from CO, SiO, SO, CS, and H2CO, comes from two extreme velocity spots on either side of the object where a high-velocity outflow appears to interact with the surrounding medium. We have derived molecular abundances, and propose that the detected molecular species are the effect of a post-shock chemistry where circumstellar grains play a role. We further provide evidence that HD101584 was a low-mass, M-type AGB star

    ALMA observations of the "fresh" carbon-rich AGB star TX Piscium. The discovery of an elliptical detached shell

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    Aims. The carbon-rich asymptotic giant branch (AGB) star TX Piscium (TX Psc) has been observed multiple times during multiple epochs and at different wavelengths and resolutions, showing a complex molecular CO line profile and a ring-like structure in thermal dust emission. We investigate the molecular counterpart in high resolution, aiming to resolve the ring-like structure and identify its origin. Methods. Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) observations have been carried out to map the circumstellar envelope (CSE) of TX Psc in CO(2-1) emission and investigate the counterpart to the ring-like dust structure. Results. We report the detection of a thin, irregular, and elliptical detached molecular shell around TX Psc, which coincides with the dust emission. This is the first discovery of a non-spherically symmetric detached shell, raising questions about the shaping of detached shells. Conclusions. We investigate possible shaping mechanisms for elliptical detached shells and find that in the case of TX Psc, stellar rotation of 2 km/s can lead to a non-uniform mass-loss rate and velocity distribution from stellar pole to equator, recreating the elliptical CSE. We discuss the possible scenarios for increased stellar momentum, enabling the rotation rates needed to reproduce the ellipticity of our observations, and come to the conclusion that momentum transfer of an orbiting object with the mass of a brown dwarf would be sufficient

    High-resolution observations of gas and dust around Mira using ALMA and SPHERE/ZIMPOL

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    The outflows of oxygen-rich asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars are thought to be driven by radiation pressure due to the scattering of photons on relatively large grains, with sizes of tenths of microns. The details of the formation of dust in the extended atmospheres of these stars and, therefore, the mass-loss process, is still not well understood. Aims. We aim to constrain the distribution of the gas and the composition and properties of the dust grains that form in the inner circumstellar environment of the archetypal Mira variable o Cet. Methods. We obtained quasi-simultaneous observations using ALMA and SPHERE/ZIMPOL on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) to probe the distribution of gas and large dust grains, respectively. Results. The polarized light images show dust grains around Mira A, but also around the companion, Mira B, and a dust trail that connects the two sources. The ALMA observations show that dust around Mira A is contained in a high-gas-density region with a significant fraction of the grains that produce the polarized light located at the edge of this region. Hydrodynamical and wind-driving models show that dust grains form efficiently behind shock fronts caused by stellar pulsation or convective motions. The distance at which we observe the density decline (a few tens of au) is, however, significantly larger than expected for stellar-pulsation-induced shocks. Other possibilities for creating the high-gas-density region are a recent change in the mass-loss rate of Mira A or interactions with Mira B. We are not able to determine which of these scenarios is correct. We constrained the gas density, temperature, and velocity within a few stellar radii from the star by modelling the CO v = 1, J = 3-2 line. We find a mass (~3.8 \ub1 1.3) 7 104 M to be contained between the stellar millimetre photosphere, R338 GHz, and 4 R338 GHz. Our best-fit models with lower masses also reproduce the 13CO v = 0, J = 3-2 line emission from this region well. We find TiO2 and AlO abundances corresponding to 4.5% and <0.1% of the total titanium and aluminium expected for a gas with solar composition. The low abundance of AlO allows for a scenario in which Al depletion into dust happens already very close to the star, as expected from thermal dust emission observations and theoretical calculations of Mira variables. The relatively large abundance of aluminium for a gas with solar composition allows us to constrain the presence of aluminium oxide grains based on the scattered light observations and on the gas densities we obtain. These models imply that aluminium oxide grains could account for a significant fraction of the total aluminium atoms in this region only if the grains have sizes 0.02 μm. This is an order of magnitude smaller than the maximum sizes predicted by dust-formation and wind-driving models. Conclusions. The study we present highlights the importance of coordinated observations using different instruments to advance our understanding of dust nucleation, dust growth, and wind driving in AGB stars

    Modelling the carbon AGB star R Sculptoris: Constraining the dust properties in the detached shell based on far-infrared and sub-millimeter observations

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    Context. On the asymptotic giant branch (AGB), Sun-like stars lose a large portion of their mass in an intensive wind and enrich the surrounding interstellar medium with nuclear processed stellar material in the form of molecular gas and dust. For a number of carbon-rich AGB stars, thin detached shells of gas and dust have been observed. These shells are formed during brief periods of increased mass loss and expansion velocity during a thermal pulse, and open up the possibility to study the mass-loss history of thermally pulsing AGB stars. Aims. We study the properties of dust grains in the detached shell around the carbon AGB star R Scl and aim to quantify the influence of the dust grain properties on the shape of the spectral energy distribution (SED) and the derived dust shell mass. Methods. We modelled the SED of the circumstellar dust emission and compared the models to observations, including new observations of Herschel/PACS and SPIRE (infrared) and APEX/LABOCA (sub-millimeter). We derived present-day mass-loss rates and detached shell masses for a variation of dust grain properties (opacities, chemical composition, grain size, and grain geometry) to quantify the influence of changing dust properties to the derived shell mass. Results. The best-fitting mass-loss parameters are a present-day dust mass-loss rate of 2 7 10-10M⊙yr-1and a detached shell dust mass of (2.9 \ub1 0.3) 7 10-5M⊙. Compared to similar studies, the uncertainty on the dust mass is reduced by a factor of 4. We find that the size of the grains dominates the shape of the SED, while the estimated dust shell mass is most strongly affected by the geometry of the dust grains. Additionally, we find a significant sub-millimeter excess that cannot be reproduced by any of the models, but is most likely not of thermal origin

    The role of daily adjustment disorder, depression and anxiety symptoms for the physical activity of cardiac patients

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    Background Physical activity (PA) is crucial in the treatment of cardiac disease. There is a high prevalence of stress-response and affective disorders among cardiac patients, which might be negatively associated with their PA. This study aimed at investigating daily differential associations of International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-11 adjustment disorder, depression and anxiety symptoms with PA and sedentary behaviour (SB) during and right after inpatient cardiac rehabilitation. Methods The sample included N = 129 inpatients in cardiac rehabilitation, Mage_{age} = 62.2, s.d.age_{age} = 11.3, 84.5% male, n = 2845 days. Adjustment disorder, depression and anxiety symptoms were measured daily during the last 7 days of rehabilitation and for 3 weeks after discharge. Moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA), light PA (LPA) and SB were measured with an accelerometer. Bayesian lagged multilevel regressions including all three symptoms to obtain their unique effects were conducted. Results On days with higher adjustment disorder symptoms than usual, patients engaged in less MVPA, and more SB. Patients with overall higher depression symptoms engaged in less MVPA, less LPA and more SB. On days with higher depression symptoms than usual, there was less MVPA and LPA, and more SB. Patients with higher anxiety symptoms engaged in more LPA and less SB. Conclusions Results highlight the necessity to screen for and treat adjustment disorder and depression symptoms during cardiac rehabilitation

    The role of daily adjustment disorder, depression and anxiety symptoms for the physical activity of cardiac patients

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    Abstract Background Physical activity (PA) is crucial in the treatment of cardiac disease. There is a high prevalence of stress-response and affective disorders among cardiac patients, which might be negatively associated with their PA. This study aimed at investigating daily differential associations of International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-11 adjustment disorder, depression and anxiety symptoms with PA and sedentary behaviour (SB) during and right after inpatient cardiac rehabilitation. Methods The sample included N = 129 inpatients in cardiac rehabilitation, Mage = 62.2, s.d.age = 11.3, 84.5% male, n = 2845 days. Adjustment disorder, depression and anxiety symptoms were measured daily during the last 7 days of rehabilitation and for 3 weeks after discharge. Moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA), light PA (LPA) and SB were measured with an accelerometer. Bayesian lagged multilevel regressions including all three symptoms to obtain their unique effects were conducted. Results On days with higher adjustment disorder symptoms than usual, patients engaged in less MVPA, and more SB. Patients with overall higher depression symptoms engaged in less MVPA, less LPA and more SB. On days with higher depression symptoms than usual, there was less MVPA and LPA, and more SB. Patients with higher anxiety symptoms engaged in more LPA and less SB. Conclusions Results highlight the necessity to screen for and treat adjustment disorder and depression symptoms during cardiac rehabilitation

    A detailed view of the gas shell around R Sculptoris with ALMA

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    Context. During the asymptotic giant branch (AGB) phase, stars undergo thermal pulses - short-lived phases of explosive helium burning in a shell around the stellar core. Thermal pulses lead to the formation and mixing-up of new elements to the stellar surface. They are hence fundamental to the chemical evolution of the star and its circumstellar envelope. A further consequence of thermal pulses is the formation of detached shells of gas and dust around the star, several of which have been observed around carbon-rich AGB stars. Aims. We aim to determine the physical properties of the detached gas shell around R Sculptoris, in particular the shell mass and temperature, and to constrain the evolution of the mass-loss rate during and after a thermal pulse. Methods. We analyse 12CO(1-0), 12CO(2-1), and 12CO(3-2) emission, observed with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) during Cycle 0 and complemented by single-dish observations. The spatial resolution of the ALMA data allows us to separate the detached shell emission from the extended emission inside the shell. We perform radiative transfer modelling of both components to determine the shell properties and the post-pulse mass-loss properties. Results. The ALMA data show a gas shell with a radius of 19″.5 expanding at 14.3 km s-1. The different scales probed by the ALMA Cycle 0 array show that the shell must be entirely filled with gas, contrary to the idea of a detached shell. The comparison to single-dish spectra and radiative transfer modelling confirms this. We derive a shell mass of 4.5 × 10-3 M⊙ with a temperature of 50 K. Typical timescales for thermal pulses imply a pulse mass-loss rate of 2.3 × 10-5 M⊙ yr-1. For the post-pulse mass-loss rate, we find evidence for a gradual decline of the mass-loss rate, with an average value of 1.6 × 10-5 M⊙ yr-1. The total amount of mass lost since the last thermal pulse is 0.03 M⊙, a factor four higher compared to classical models, with a sharp decline in mass-loss rate immediately after the pulse. Conclusions. We find that the mass-loss rate after a thermal pulse has to decline more slowly than generally expected from models of thermal pulses. This may cause the star to lose significantly more mass during a thermal pulse cycle, which affects the lifetime on the AGB and the chemical evolution of the star, its circumstellar envelope, and the interstellar medium
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