Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 516, A68-68 (2010/6-2)
Circumstellar molecular composition of the oxygen-rich AGB star IK Tauri. I. Observations and LTE chemical abundance analysis.
KIM H., WYROWSKI F., MENTEN K.M. and DECIN L.
Abstract (from CDS):
Molecular lines in the (sub)millimeter wavelength range can provide important information about the physical and chemical conditions in the circumstellar envelopes around asymptotic giant branch stars. The aim of this paper is to study the molecular composition in the circumstellar envelope around the oxygen-rich star IK Tau. We observed IK Tau in several (sub)millimeter bands using the APEX telescope during three observing periods. To determine the spatial distribution of the 12CO(3-2) emission, mapping observations were performed. To constrain the physical conditions in the circumstellar envelope, multiple rotational CO emission lines were modeled using a nonlocal thermodynamic equilibrium radiative transfer code. The rotational temperatures and the abundances of the other molecules were obtained assuming local thermodynamic equilibrium. An oxygen-rich asymptotic giant branch star has been surveyed in the submillimeter wavelength range. Thirty four transitions of twelve molecular species, including maser lines, were detected. The kinetic temperature of the envelope was determined, and the molecular abundance fractions of the molecules were estimated. The deduced molecular abundances were compared with observations and modeling from the literature and agree within a factor of 10, except for SO2, which is found to be almost a factor 100 stronger than predicted by chemical models. From this study, we found that IK Tau is a good laboratory for studying the conditions in circumstellar envelopes around oxygen-rich stars with (sub)millimeter-wavelength molecular lines. We could also expect from this study that the molecules in the circumstellar envelope can be explained more faithfully by non-LTE analysis with lower and higher transition lines than by simple LTE analysis with only lower transition lines. In particular, the observed CO line profiles could be well reproduced by a simple expanding envelope model with a power-law structure.