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 100-year Mass Loss Modulations on the Asymptotic Giant Branch

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We analyze the differences in infrared circumstellar dust emission between oxygen rich Mira and non-Mira stars, and find that they are statistically significant. In particular, we find that these stars segregate in the K-12 vs. 12-25 color-color diagram, and have distinct properties of the IRAS LRS spectra, including the peak position of the silicate emission feature. We show that the infrared emission from the majority of non-Mira stars cannot be explained within the context of standard steady-state outflow models. The models can be altered to fit the data for non-Mira stars by postulating non-standard optical properties for silicate grains, or by assuming that the dust temperature at the inner envelope radius is significantly lower 300-400 K than typical silicate grain condensation temperatures 800-1000 K. We argue that the latter is more probable and provide detailed model fits to the IRAS LRS spectra for 342 stars. These fits imply that 2-3 of non-Mira stars and 1-3 of Mira stars do not have hot dust $$ 500 K in their envelopes. The absence of hot dust can be interpreted as a recent order of 100 yr decrease in the mass-loss rate. The distribution of best-fit model parameters agrees with this interpretation and strongly suggests that the mass loss resumes on similar time scales. Such a possibility appears to be supported by a number of spatially resolved observations e.g. recent HST images of the multiple shells in the Egg Nebula and is consistent with new dynamical models for mass loss on the Asymptotic Giant Branch.

Autor: M. Marengo; Z. Ivezic; G. R. Knapp

Fuente: https://archive.org/

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