Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 482, 4697-4712 (2019/February-1)
Ultraviolet and optical spectroscopy of AGB stars showing UV excess.
ORTIZ R., GUERRERO M.A. and COSTA R.D.D.
Abstract (from CDS):
We have examined ultraviolet (UV) and optical UB spectra of 20 UV-emitting Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) stars of various variability classes to study the intensity of the continuum and emission lines as a function of stellar visual magnitude to shed light on the origin of their UV emission. A significant fraction (60 per cent) of these stars show Fe I and Fe II emission lines and ∼1/4 show Balmer lines in emission. The emission in the GALEX [FUV] and [NUV] bands is dominated by continuum emission, with a limited (<=36 per cent) contribution from emission lines. The UV spectra of sources with multiple GALEX or IUE observations reveal short-term (of a few days or less) variability, which does not follow the pulsation cycle. The intensity of the Mg II λ2800 doublet, a classical diagnostic of chromospheric activity, is anticorrelated with the spectral slope in the near-UV that could be partially attributed to temperature variations in a stellar chromosphere. We observed that the intensity of Mg II λ2800 in o Cet has a sharp maximum at the phase ph ≃ 0.35 after the light curve maximum. Other LPV stars (T Cet and R Com) show strong UV Fe II emission lines near this same phase and, like the Mg II doublet, their excitation can be driven by pulsation. Our results suggest that far-UV emission from AGB stars might be external (hot companion, accretion disc), but contemporary photometric and spectral UV observations covering the whole pulsation period are required to ascertain its true origin.