Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 515, A108-108 (2010/6-1)
The O I] 1641 Å line as a probe of symbiotic star winds.
SHORE S.N. and WAHLGREN G.M.
Abstract (from CDS):
The neutral oxygen resonance λ1302Å line can, if the optical depth is sufficiently high, de-excite by an intercombination transition at λ1641Å to a metastable state. This has been noted in a number of previous studies but never systematically investigated as a diagnostic of the neutral red giant wind in symbiotic stars and symbiotic-like recurrent novae. We used archival IUE high resolution, and HST GHRS and STIS medium and high resolution, spectra to study a sample of symbiotic stars. The integrated fluxes were measured, where possible, for the OI λ1302Å and OI] λ1641Å lines. The intercombination λ1641Å line is detected in a substantial number of symbiotic stars with optical depths that give column densities comparable with direct eclipse measures (EG And) and the evolution of the recurrent nova RS Oph 1985 in outburst. In four systems (EG And, Z And, V1016 Cyg, and RR Tel), we find that the OI] variations are strongly correlated with the optical light curve and outburst activity. This transition can also be important for the study of a wide variety of sources in which an ionization-bounded H II region is imbedded in an extensive neutral medium, including active galactic nuclei, and not only for evaluations of extinction.