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Extended atmospheres of AGB stars: modeling and measurement  [PDF]
Michael J. Ireland
Physics , 2010,
Abstract: Encoded in the time- and wavelength dependent properties of pulsating AGB stars are the underlying fundamental parameters of mass, composition and evolutionary state. However, the standard technique of placing stars on a HR diagram, even with the aid of pulsation periods, can not be done easily for extended AGB stars, because of the difficulty of defining a radius or temperature. The atmospheres of Mira variables are so extended that the optical depth unity radius can vary by a factor of ~3 over the energetically important region of the spectrum. Many important constituents in the radiative transfer are far from local thermodynamic equilibrium, and for the coolest stars, the process of dust formation and destruction requires a time-dependent model of grain growth. I will describe the challenges and some of the solutions to modeling these atmospheres, and describe the utility of different kinds of observations in helping understand both fundamental parameters and chaotic processes in complex AGB atmospheres.
Line formation in AGB atmospheres including velocity effects. Molecular line profile variations of long period variables  [PDF]
W. Nowotny,S. Hoefner,B. Aringer
Physics , 2010, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/200911899
Abstract: The atmospheres of evolved red giants are considerably influenced by pulsations of the stellar interiors and developing stellar winds. The resulting complex velocity fields severely affect molecular line profiles observable in NIR spectra. With the help of model calculations the complex line formation process in AGB atmospheres was explored with the focus on velocity effects. Furthermore, we aimed for atmospheric models which are able to quantitatively reproduce line profile variations found in observed spectra of pulsating late-type giants. Models describing pulsation-enhanced dust-driven winds were used to compute synthetic spectra under the assumptions of chemical equilibrium and LTE and by solving the radiative transfer in spherical geometry including velocity effects. Radial velocities derived from Doppler-shifted synthetic line profiles provide information on the gas velocities in the line-forming region of the spectral features. On the basis of dynamic models we investigated in detail the finding that various molecular features in AGB spectra originate at different geometrical depths of the very extended atmospheres. We show that the models are able to quantitatively reproduce the characteristic line profile variations of lines sampling the deep photosphere. The global velocity fields of typical LPVs are also realistically reproduced. Possible reasons for discrepancies concerning other modelling results are outlined. In addition, we present a model showing variations of CO dv=3 line profiles comparable to observed spectra of SRVs and discuss that the non-occurence of line doubling in these objects may be due to a density effect. The results of our line profile modelling are another indication that the dynamic models studied here are approaching a realistic representation of the outer layers of AGB stars.
Wind acceleration in AGB stars: Solid ground and loose ends  [PDF]
Susanne H?fner
Physics , 2015,
Abstract: The winds of cool luminous AGB stars are commonly assumed to be driven by radiative acceleration of dust grains which form in the extended atmospheres produced by pulsation-induced shock waves. The dust particles gain momentum by absorption or scattering of stellar photons, and they drag along the surrounding gas particles through collisions, triggering an outflow. This scenario, here referred to as Pulsation-Enhanced Dust-DRiven Outflow (PEDDRO), has passed a range of critical observational tests as models have developed from empirical and qualitative to increasingly self-consistent and quantitative. A reliable theory of mass loss is an essential piece in the bigger picture of stellar and galactic chemical evolution, and central for determining the contribution of AGB stars to the dust budget of galaxies. In this review, I discuss the current understanding of wind acceleration and indicate areas where further efforts by theorists and observers are needed.
Starlight and Sandstorms: Mass Loss Mechanisms on the AGB  [PDF]
Susanne H?fner
Physics , 2011,
Abstract: There are strong observational indications that the dense slow winds of cool luminous AGB stars are driven by radiative pressure on dust grains which form in the extended atmospheres resulting from pulsation-induced shocks. For carbon stars, detailed models of outflows driven by amorphous carbon grains show good agreement with observations. Some still existing discrepancies may be due to a simplified treatment of cooling in shocks, drift of the grains relative to the gas, or effects of giant convection cells or dust-induced pattern formation. For stars with C/O < 1, recent models indicate that absorption by silicate dust is probably insuffcient to drive their winds. A possible alternative is scattering by Fe-free silicate grains with radii of a few tenths of a micron. In this scenario one should expect less circumstellar reddening for M- and S-type AGB stars than for C-stars with comparable stellar parameters and mass loss rates.
The formation of lithium lines in the atmospheres of super Li-rich AGB stars  [PDF]
Carlos Abia,Yakiv Pavlenko,Patrick de Laverny
Physics , 1999,
Abstract: The formation of lithium lines in the atmosphere of C-rich giants is discussed. LTE and NLTE approximations are used to model lithium lines in the spectra of super Li-rich AGB stars. The system of equations of the statistical balance of neutral Li in plane-parallel model atmospheres is solved for a 20-level atom model. JOLA and line-by-line models of molecular absorption are used to compute synthetic spectra as well as the opacity in the frequencies of bound-bound and bound-free transitions of the lithium lines. Curves of growth and synthetic spectra are computed in LTE and NLTE for several model atmospheres of different Teff and C/O ratios for four lithium absorptions, namely: the $\lambda 4603$, $\lambda 6104$, $\lambda 6708$ and $\lambda 8126$ {\AA} Li I lines. The sensitivity of the NLTE effects on Teff and the C/O ratio is discussed. We found that NLTE mainly affects the resonance line doublet ($\lambda 6708$) while the impact of NLTE effects on the lithium subordinate lines, formed in the inner regions of C-rich giant atmospheres, is rather weak. Therefore the use of these lines is recommended for Li determination in AGB stars. However, in no case can we properly account for the formation of Li lines in AGB stars until sphericity, velocity stratifications, dust, chromospheres and other related phenomena, which are in fact present in AGB star atmospheres, are considered. Our results are used to derive Li abundances in three super Li-rich C-stars taking into account NLTE effects. Finally, the net Li yield from this class of stars into the interstellar medium is reconsidered.
Eyes in the sky: Interactions between AGB winds and the interstellar magnetic field  [PDF]
A. J. van Marle,N. L. J. Cox,L. Decin
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201424452
Abstract: We aim to examine the role of the interstellar magnetic field in shaping the extended morphologies of slow dusty winds of Asymptotic Giant-branch (AGB) stars in an effort to pin-point the origin of so-called eye shaped CSE of three carbon-rich AGB stars. In addition, we seek to understand if this pre-planetary nebula (PN) shaping can be responsible for asymmetries observed in PNe. Hydrodynamical simulations are used to study the effect of typical interstellar magnetic fields on the free-expanding spherical stellar winds as they sweep up the local interstellar medium (ISM). The simulations show that typical Galactic interstellar magnetic fields of 5 to 10 muG, are sufficient to alter the spherical expanding shells of AGB stars to appear as the characteristic eye shape revealed by far-infrared observations. The typical sizes of the simulated eyes are in accordance with the observed physical sizes. However, the eye shapes are of transient nature. Depending on the stellar and interstellar conditions they develop after 20,000 to 200,000yrs and last for about 50,000 to 500,000 yrs, assuming that the star is at rest relative to the local interstellar medium. Once formed the eye shape will develop lateral outflows parallel to the magnetic field. The "explosion" of a PN in the center of the eye-shaped dust shell gives rise to an asymmetrical nebula with prominent inward pointing Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities. Interstellar magnetic fields can clearly affect the shaping of wind-ISM interaction shells. The occurrence of the eyes is most strongly influenced by stellar space motion and ISM density. Observability of this transient phase is favoured for lines-of-sight perpendicular to the interstellar magnetic field direction. The simulations indicate that shaping of the pre-PN envelope can strongly affect the shape and size of PNe.
The extended atmospheres of Mira variables probed by VLTI, VLBA, and APEX  [PDF]
M. Wittkowski,D. A. Boboltz,C. de Breuck,M. Gray,E. Humphreys,M. Ireland,I. Karovicova,K. Ohnaka,A. E. Ruiz-Velasco,M. Scholz,P. Whitelock,A. Zijlstra
Physics , 2011,
Abstract: We present an overview on our project to study the extended atmospheres and dust formation zones of Mira stars using coordinated observations with the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI), the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), and the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX). The data are interpreted using an approach of combining recent dynamic model atmospheres with a radiative transfer model of the dust shell, and combining the resulting model structure with a maser propagation model.
Dust grain properties in atmospheres of AGB stars  [PDF]
A. C. Andersen,S. Hoefner,R. Gautschy-Loidl
Physics , 2002,
Abstract: We present self-consistent dynamical models for dust driven winds of carbon-rich AGB stars. The models are based on the coupled system of frequency-dependent radiation hydrodynamics and time-dependent dust formation. We investigate in detail how the wind properties of the models are influenced by the micro-physical properties of the dust grains that enter as parameters. The models are now at a level where it is necessary to be quantitatively consistent when choosing the dust properties that enters as input into the models. At our current level of sophistication the choice of dust parameters is significant for the derived outflow velocity, the degree of condensation and the estimated mass loss rates of the models. In the transition between models with and without mass-loss the choice ofmicro-physical parameters turns out to be very significant for whether a particular set of stellar parameters will give rise to a dust-driven mass loss or not.
New insights into the dust formation of oxygen-rich AGB stars  [PDF]
I. Karovicova,M. Wittkowski,K. Ohnaka,D. A. Boboltz,E. Fossat,M. Scholz
Physics , 2013, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201322376
Abstract: We observed the AGB stars S Ori, GX Mon and R Cnc with the MIDI instrument at the VLTI. We compared the data to radiative transfer models of the dust shells, where the central stellar intensity profiles were described by dust-free dynamic model atmospheres. We used Al2O3 and warm silicate grains. Our S Ori and R Cnc data could be well described by an Al2O3 dust shell alone, and our GX Mon data by a mix of an Al2O3 and a silicate shell. The best-fit parameters for S Ori and R Cnc included photospheric angular diameters Theta(Phot) of 9.7+/-1.0mas and 12.3+/-1.0mas, optical depths tau(V)(Al2O3) of 1.5+/-0.5 and 1.35+/-0.2, and inner radii R(in) of 1.9+/-0.3R(Phot) and 2.2+/-0.3R(Phot), respectively. Best-fit parameters for GX Mon were Theta(Phot)=8.7+/-1.3mas, tau(V)(Al2O3)=1.9+/-0.6, R(in)(Al2O3)=2.1+/-0.3R(Phot), tau(V)(silicate)=3.2+/-0.5, and R(in)(silicate)=4.6+/-0.2R(Phot). Our model fits constrain the chemical composition and the inner boundary radii of the dust shells, as well as the photospheric angular diameters. Our interferometric results are consistent with Al2O3 grains condensing close to the stellar surface at about 2 stellar radii, co-located with the extended atmosphere and SiO maser emission, and warm silicate grains at larger distances of about 4--5 stellar radii. We verified that the number densities of aluminum can match that of the best-fit Al2O3 dust shell near the inner dust radius in sufficiently extended atmospheres, confirming that Al2O3 grains can be seed particles for the further dust condensation. Together with literature data of the mass-loss rates, our sample is consistent with a hypothesis that stars with low mass-loss rates form primarily dust that preserves the spectral properties of Al2O3, and stars with higher mass-loss rate form dust with properties of warm silicates.
Fluorine Abundances in Galactic AGB Stars  [PDF]
C. Abia,K. Cunha,S. Cristallo.,P. de Laverny,I. Dominguez,K. Eriksson,L. Gialanella,K. Hinkle,G. Imbriani,A Recio-Blanco,V. V. Smith,O. Straniero,R. Wahlin
Physics , 2010,
Abstract: An analysis of the fluorine abundance in Galactic AGB carbon stars (24 N-type, 5 SC-type and 5 J-type) is presented. This study uses the state- of-the-art carbon rich atmosphere models and improved atomic and molecular line lists in the 2.3 {\mu}m region. F abundances significantly lower are obtained in comparison to previous study in the literature. The main reason of this difference is due to molecular blends. In the case of carbon stars of SC-type, differences in the model atmospheres are also relevant. The new F enhancements are now in agreement with the most recent theoretical nucleosynthesis models in low- mass AGB stars, solving the long standing problem of F in Galactic AGB stars. Nevertheless, some SC-type carbon stars still show larger F abundances than predicted by stellar models. The possibility that these stars are of larger mass is briefly discussed.
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