Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 318, 535-542 (1997/2-2)
KI emission from envelopes around N-type stars. Spectroscopic observations and interpretations.
GUSTAFSSON B., ERIKSSON K., KISELMAN D., OLANDER N. and OLOFSSON H.
Abstract (from CDS):
Circumstellar envelopes around three bright N-type stars, R Scl, X TrA, and V Aql have been detected in emission in resonance lines from KI. This radiation, which is most probably scattered photospheric radiation, was first found spectroscopically, but has later been imaged with coronographic and polarimetric techniques. In the present paper, which is the first in a series, the spectroscopic KI observations are discussed. From the observations of the KI 769.9nm emission we find systemic and expansion velocities in fair agreement with those obtained from the CO millimetre lines. We find a decline of the emission with distance from the star, in rough agreement with the assumption of a constant expansion velocity, mass-loss rate and KI abundance. Our mass loss rate estimates from the KI line observations agree rather well with those obtained from CO (ranging from 1/4 to 1/1 of the CO mass loss), which suggests that a considerable fraction of the potassium stays neutral through the envelope. This puts strong upper limits on the photoionizing chromospheric UV emission from the stars. Some indirect indications that the envelopes have inhomogeneous structures, clumps, are discussed.
stars: carbon - circumstellar matter - stars: individual: R Scl, X TrA, V Aql - stars: mass-loss - stars: AGB
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