Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 413, 241-249 (2004/1-1)
Australia Telescope Compact Array imaging of circumstellar HCN line emission from R Scl.
WONG T., SCHOEIER F.L., LINDQVIST M. and OLOFSSON H.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present radio-interferometric observations of HCN J=1->0 line emission from the carbon star R Scl, obtained with the interim 3-mm receivers of the Australia Telescope Compact Array. The emission is resolved into a central source with a Gaussian FWHM of ∼1", which we identify as the present mass loss envelope. Using a simple photodissociation model and constraints from single-dish HCN spectra, we argue that the present mass-loss rate is low, ∼2x10–7M☉/yr, supporting the idea that R Scl had to experience a brief episode of intense mass loss in order to produce the detached CO shell at ∼10" radius inferred from single-dish observations. Detailed radiative transfer modelling yields an abundance of HCN relative to H2, fHCN, of ∼10–5 in the present-day wind. There appears to be a discrepancy between model results obtained with higher transition single-dish data included and those from the J=1->0 interferometer data alone, in that the interferometer data suggest a smaller envelope size and larger HCN abundance than the single-dish data. The lack of HCN in the detached shell, fHCN≲2x10–7, is consistent with the rapid photodissociation of HCN into CN as it expands away from the star.