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Scattered light models of the dust shell around HD 179821  [PDF]
T. M. Gledhill,M. Takami
Physics , 2001, DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-8711.2001.04869.x
Abstract: The dust shell around the evolved star HD 179821 has been detected in scattered light in near-IR imaging polarimetry observations. Here, we subtract the contribution of the unpolarized stellar light to obtain an intrinsic linear polarization of between 30 and 40 per cent in the shell which seems to increase with radial offset from the star. The J and K band data are modelled using a scattering code to determine the shell parameters and dust properties. We find that the observations are well described by a spherically symmetric distribution of dust with an inverse square density law, indicating that when mass-loss was occurring, the mass-loss rate was constant. The models predict that the detached nature of a spherically symmetric, optically thin dust shell, with a distinct inner boundary, will only be apparent in polarized flux. This is in accordance with the observations of this and other optically thin circumstellar shells, such as IRAS 17436+5003. By fitting the shell brightness we derive an optical depth to the star which is consistent with V band observations and which, assuming a distance of 6 kpc, gives an inner shell radius of 1.44 X 10^{15} m, a dust number density of 2.70 X 10^{-1} m^{-3}. and a dust mass of 0.08 Msun. We have explored axisymmetric shell models but conclude that any deviations from spherical symmetry in the shell must be slight, with an equator-to-pole density contrast of less than 2:1. We have not been able to simultaneously fit the high linear polarizations and the small (E(J-K)=-0.3) colour excess of the shell and we attribute this to the unusual scattering properties of the dust. We suggest that the dust grains around HD 179821 are either highly elongated or consist of aggregates of smaller particles.
The destruction and survival of dust in the shell around SN 2008S  [PDF]
R. Wesson,M. J. Barlow,B. Ercolano,J. E. Andrews,Geoffrey C. Clayton,J. Fabbri,Joseph S. Gallagher,M. Meixner,B. E. K. Sugerman,D. L. Welch,D. J. Stock
Physics , 2009, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.15871.x
Abstract: SN 2008S erupted in early 2008 in the grand design spiral galaxy NGC 6946. The progenitor was detected by Prieto et al. in Spitzer Space Telescope images taken over the four years prior to the explosion, but was not detected in deep optical images, from which they inferred a self-obscured object with a mass of about 10 Msun. We obtained Spitzer observations of SN 2008S five days after its discovery, as well as coordinated Gemini and Spitzer optical and infrared observations six months after its outburst. We have constructed radiative transfer dust models for the object before and after the outburst, using the same r^-2 density distribution of pre-existing amorphous carbon grains for all epochs and taking light-travel time effects into account for the early post-outburst epoch. We rule out silicate grains as a significant component of the dust around SN 2008S. The inner radius of the dust shell moved outwards from its pre-outburst value of 85 AU to a post-outburst value of 1250 AU, attributable to grain vaporisation by the light flash from SN 2008S. Although this caused the circumstellar extinction to decrease from Av = 15 before the outburst to 0.8 after the outburst, we estimate that less than 2% of the overall circumstellar dust mass was destroyed. The total mass-loss rate from the progenitor star is estimated to have been (0.5-1.0)x10^-4 Msun yr^-1. The derived dust mass-loss rate of 5x10^-7 Msun yr^-1 implies a total dust injection into the ISM of up to 0.01 Msun over the suggested duration of the self-obscured phase. We consider the potential contribution of objects like SN 2008S to the dust enrichment of galaxies.
Imaging the asymmetric dust shell around CI Cam with long baseline optical interferometry  [PDF]
N. D. Thureau,J. D. Monnier,W. A. Traub,R. Millan-Gabet,E. Pedretti,J. -P. Berger,M. R. Garcia,F. P. Schloerb,A. -K. Tannirkulam
Physics , 2009, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.14949.x
Abstract: We present the first high angular resolution observation of the B[e] star/X-ray transient object CI Cam, performed with the two-telescope Infrared Optical Telescope Array (IOTA), its upgraded three-telescope version (IOTA3T) and the Palomar Testbed Interferometer (PTI). Visibilities and closure phases were obtained using the IONIC-3 integrated optics beam combiner. CI Cam was observed in the near-infrared H and K spectral bands, wavelengths well suited to measure the size and study the geometry of the hot dust surrounding CI Cam. The analysis of the visibility data over an 8 year period from soon after the 1998 outburst to 2006 shows that the dust visibility has not changed over the years. The visibility data shows that CI Cam is elongated which confirms the disc-shape of the circumstellar environment and totally rules out the hypothesis of a spherical dust shell. Closure phase measurements show direct evidence of asymmetries in the circumstellar environment of CI Cam and we conclude that the dust surrounding CI Cam lies in an inhomogeneous disc seen at an angle. The near-infrared dust emission appears as an elliptical skewed Gaussian ring with a major axis a = 7.58 +/- 0.24 mas, an axis ratio r = 0.39 +/- 0.03 and a position angle theta = 35 +/- 2 deg.
Detection of a sub-arcsecond dust shell around the Wolf-Rayet star WR 112  [PDF]
S. Ragland,A. Richichi
Physics , 1998, DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-8711.1999.02236.x
Abstract: A lunar occultation event of the Wolf-Rayet star WR 112 (type WC9) has been observed simultaneously from two independent telescopes at lambda = 2.2microns, allowing us to investigate this source with an angular resolution of approx 0.003 arc-seconds. We have detected a circumstellar dust envelope whose brightness distribution can be approximately fitted by a gaussian with a FWHM of approx 0.06 arc-seconds (approx 10^15 cm). We present and discuss the reconstructed brightness profile, which shows an asymmetry in the radial dust distribution. The derived dust grain temperature at the inner dust zone of approx 1150 K is consistent with available model calculations. There is no signature of the central star from our observations, providing a direct confirmation that the circumstellar shell emission dominates over the photospheric emission at 2.2microns as predicted by fits to the spectral energy distribution. Further lunar occultation observations at different position angles are essential to reconstruct the 2--D image of the dust shell around WR 112. The current series of lunar occultations of WR 112 will continue to the end of 1999 and will be visible for all equatorial and southern latitude observatories.
Mid-infrared interferometric monitoring of evolved stars - The dust shell around the Mira variable RR Aql at 13 epochs  [PDF]
I. Karovicova,M. Wittkowski,D. A. Boboltz,E. Fossat,K. Ohnaka,M. Scholz
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201116527
Abstract: We obtained 13 epochs of mid-infrared interferometry with the MIDI instrument at the VLTI between April 2004 and July 2007, covering pulsation phases 0.45-0.85 within four cycles. The data are modeled with a radiative transfer model of the dust shell where the central stellar intensity profile is described by a series of dust-free dynamic model atmospheres based on self-excited pulsation models. We examined two dust species, silicate and Al2O3 grains. We performed model simulations using variations in model phase and dust shell parameters to investigate the expected variability of our photometric and interferometric data. The observed visibility spectra do not show any indication of variations as a function of pulsation phase and cycle. The observed photometry spectra may indicate intracycle and cycle-to-cycle variations at the level of 1-2 standard deviations. The best-fitting model for our average pulsation phase of 0.64+/-0.15 includes the dynamic model atmosphere M21n (T_model=2550 K) with a photospheric angular diameter of 7.6+/-0.6 mas, and a silicate dust shell with an optical depth of 2.8+/-0.8, an inner radius of 4.1+/-0.7 R_Phot, and a power-law index of the density distribution of 2.6+/-0.3. The addition of an Al2O3 dust shell did not improve the model fit. The photospheric angular diameter corresponds to a radius of 520^+230_-140 R_sun and an effective temperature of ~ 2420+/-200 K. Our modeling simulations confirm that significant visibility variations are not expected for RR Aql at mid-infrared wavelengths within our uncertainties. We conclude that our RR Aql data can be described by a pulsating atmosphere surrounded by a silicate dust shell. The effects of the pulsation on the mid-infrared flux and visibility values are expected to be less than about 25% and 20%, respectively, and are too low to be detected within our measurement uncertainties.
Subarcsecond Mid-IR Structure of the Dust Shell around IRAS 22272+5435  [PDF]
T. Ueta,M. Meixner,P. M. Hinz,W. F. Hoffmann,W. Brandner,A. Dayal,L. K. Deutsch,G. G. Fazio,J. L. Hora
Physics , 2001, DOI: 10.1086/322259
Abstract: We report sub-arcsecond imaging of extended mid-infrared emission from a proto-planetary nebula (PPN), \iras 22272+5435, performed at the MMT observatory with its newly upgraded 6.5 m aperture telescope and at the Keck observatory. The mid-infrared emission structure is resolved into two emission peaks separated by $0\arcsec.5 - 0\arcsec.6$ in the MMT 11.7 $\um$ image and in the Keck 7.9, 9.7, and 12.5 $\um$ images, corroborating the predictions based on previous multi-wavelength morphological studies and radiative transfer calculations. The resolved images show that the PPN dust shell has a toroidal structure with the $0\arcsec.5$ inner radius. In addition, an unresolved mid-IR excess appears at the nebula center. Radiative transfer model calculations suggest that the highly equatorially-enhanced ($\rho_{\rm eq}/\rho_{\rm pole} = 9$) structure of the PPN shell was generated by an axisymmetric superwind with ${\dot M}_{\rm sw} = 4 \times 10^{-6} M_{\odot}$ yr$^{-1}$, which was preceded by a spherical asymptotic giant branch (AGB) wind with ${\dot M}_{\rm AGB} = 8 \times 10^{-7} M_{\odot}$ yr$^{-1}$. These model calculations also indicate that the superwind shell contains larger dust grains than the AGB wind shell. The unresolved mid-infrared excess may have been produced by a post-AGB mass loss at a rate of $2 - 6 \times 10^{-7} M_{\odot}$ yr$^{-1}$. While the central star left the AGB about 380 years ago after the termination of the superwind, the star seems to have been experiencing an ambient post-AGB mass loss with a sudden, increased mass ejection about 10 years ago.
Discovery of a dust cloud next to sigma Orionis  [PDF]
Jacco Th. van Loon,Joana M. Oliveira
Physics , 2003, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20030811
Abstract: We report on the discovery of a mid-infrared source at a projected distance of only 1200 AU from the O9.5 V star sigma Orionis. The spatially resolved, fan-shaped morphology and the presence of an ionization front, as well as evidence in the spectrum for processed dust grains, all suggest that it is a proto-planetary disk being dispersed by the intense ultraviolet radiation from sigma Orionis. We compute the mass budget and the photo-evaporation timescale, and discuss the possible nature of this remarkable object.
The dynamical evolution of the fragmented, bipolar dust shell around the carbon star IRC +10216: Rapid changes of a PPN-like structure?  [PDF]
R. Osterbart,Y. Balega,T. Bloecker,A. Men'shchikov,G. Weigelt
Physics , 2000,
Abstract: We present high-resolution J-, H-, and K-band observations and the first H-K color image of the carbon star IRC +10216. The images were reconstructed from 6m telescope speckle interferograms using the bispectrum speckle interferometry method. The H and K images with resolutions between 70mas and 92mas consist of several compact components within a 0.2" radius and a fainter asymmetric nebula. The brightest four components are denoted with A to D in the order of decreasing brightness in the 1996 image. A comparison of our images from 1995, 1996, 1997, and 1998 gives - almost like a movie of five frames - insight into the dynamical evolution of the inner nebula. For instance, the separation of the two brightest components A and B increased from 191 mas in 1995 to 265 mas in 1998. At the same time, component B is fading and the components C and D become brighter. The X-shaped bipolar structure of the nebula, most prominently present in the J-band image, implies an asymmetric mass loss. Such asymmetries are often present in protoplanetary nebulae but are unexpected for AGB stars. IRC +10216 is thus likely to be very advanced in its AGB evolution, shortly before turning into a protoplanetary nebula. The cometary shapes of A in the H and J images and in the 0.79 micron and 1.06 micron HST images suggest that the core of A is not the central star, but the southern lobe of a bipolar structure. The position of the central star is probably at or near the position of component B, where the H-K color has a value of 4.2. If the star is at or near B, then the components A, C, and D are likely to be located at the inner boundary of the dust shell.
A dam around the Water Fountain Nebula? The dust shell of IRAS16342-3814 spatially resolved with VISIR/VLT  [PDF]
T. Verhoelst,L. B. F. M. Waters,A. Verhoeff,C. Dijkstra,H. van Winckel,J. W. Pel,R. F. Peletier
Physics , 2009, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/200911984
Abstract: Either by collimating a fast stellar wind or by driving a jet via accretion in the central system, dusty torii or stable disks may be crucial ingredients for the shaping of PNe. We study the dust distribution in the very young Proto-Planetary Nebule (PPN) IRAS16342-3814, also known as the Water Fountain Nebula, which is known to show strong bipolar characteristics in the shape of two reflection lobes, and high-velocity collimated molecular outlfows. We use the new Mid-IR (MIR) instrument VISIR on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) both in imaging and spectroscopy mode at wavelengths from 8 to 13 micron. We present the first spatially resolved MIR observations of a dusty evolved star obtained with VISIR and find that the improved spatial resolution contradicts previous claims of an elliptical brightness distribution at the heart of IRAS16342: we find the waist region to be dark even in the MIR. We show that the filling angle of the obscuring dust lane, which is made mostly of amorphous silicates, is very large, possibly even close to a spherically symmetric superwind as seen in OH/IR stars. We conclude that, in contrast to the multitude of recent dusty-disk detections in Post-AGB stars and PNe, IRAS16342 does not show this extreme equatorial density enhancement, at least not on the scale of the dusty environment which lends the object its IR appearance. Rather, it appears that the observed precessing jets are shaping the bipolar nature in the remains of a spherically symmetric AGB superwind.
Protoplanetary dust porosity and FU Orionis Outbursts: Solving the mystery of Earth's missing volatiles  [PDF]
Alexander Hubbard,Denton S. Ebel
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2014.04.015
Abstract: The Earth is known to be depleted in volatile lithophile elements in a fashion that defies easy explanation. We resolve this anomaly with a model that combines the porosity of collisionally grown dust grains in protoplanetary disks with heating from FU Orionis events that dramatically raise protoplanetary disk temperatures. The heating from an FU Orionis event alters the aerodynamical properties of the dust while evaporating the volatiles. This causes the dust to settle, abandoning those volatiles. The success of this model in explaining the elemental composition of the Earth is a strong argument in favor of highly porous collisionally grown dust grains in protoplanetary disks outside our Solar System. Further, it demonstrates how thermal (or condensation based) alterations of dust porosity, and hence aerodynamics, can be a strong factor in planet formation, leading to the onset of rapid gravitational instabilities in the dust disk and the subsequent collapse that forms planetesimals.
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