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The ALMA detection of CO rotational line emission in AGB stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud

Groenewegen, M. A. T., Vlemmings, W. H. T., Marigo, P., Sloan, G. C., Decin, L., Feast, M. W., Goldman, S. R., Justtanont, K., Kerschbaum, F., Matsuura, Mikako, McDonald, I., Olofsson, H., Sahai, R., van Loon, J. Th., Wood, P. R., Zijlstra, A. A., Bernard-Salas, J., Boyer, M. L., Guzman-Ramirez, L., Jones, O. C., Lagadec, E., Meixner, M., Rawlings, M. G. and Srinivasan, S. 2016. The ALMA detection of CO rotational line emission in AGB stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Astronomy and Astrophysics 596 , A50. 10.1051/0004-6361/201629590

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Abstract

Context. Low- and intermediate-mass stars lose most of their stellar mass at the end of their lives on the asymptotic giant branch (AGB). Determining gas and dust mass-loss rates (MLRs) is important in quantifying the contribution of evolved stars to the enrichment of the interstellar medium. Aims. Attempt to, for the first time, spectrally resolve CO thermal line emission in a small sample of AGB stars in the LargeMagellanic Cloud. Methods. The Atacama Large Millimeter Array was used to observe 2 OH/IR stars and 4 carbon stars in the LMC in the CO J= 2-1 line. Results. We present the first measurement of expansion velocities in extragalactic carbon stars. All four C-stars are detected and wind expansion velocities and stellar velocities are directly measured. Mass-loss rates are derived from modelling the spectral energy distribution and Spitzer/IRS spectrum with the DUSTY code. Gas-to-dust ratios are derived that make the predicted velocities agree with the observed ones. The expansion velocities and MLRs are compared to a Galactic sample of well-studied relatively low MLRs stars supplemented with “extreme” C-stars that have properties more similar to the LMC targets. Gas MLRs derived from a simple formula are significantly smaller than derived from the dust modelling, indicating an order of magnitude underestimate of the estimated CO abundance, time-variable mass loss, or that the CO intensities in LMC stars are lower than predicted by the formula derived for Galactic objects. This could be related to a stronger interstellar radiation field in the LMC. Conclusions. Although the LMC sample is small and the comparison to Galactic stars is non-trivial because of uncertainties in their distances (hence luminosities) it appears that for C stars the wind expansion velocities in the LMC are lower than in the solar neighbourhood, while the MLRs appear similar. This is in agreement with dynamical dust-driven wind models.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Uncontrolled Keywords: Stars: AGB and post-AGB – Stars: winds, outflows – Radio lines: stars
Publisher: EDP Sciences
ISSN: 0004-6361
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 October 2016
Date of Acceptance: 29 September 2016
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2017 17:03
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/95077

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