Abstract Digest #6, 23.09.2014

Today's abstracts:

  • [A&A] "Dust composition and mass-loss return from the luminous blue variable R71 in the LMC" by S. Guha Niyogi et al.
  • [MNRAS] "Pulsations as a Driver for LBV Variability" by C. Lovekin and J. Guzik
  • [IAUS307] "Physics of mass loss in massive stars" by J. Puls, J.O. Sundqvist, N. Markova
  • [AJ] "High-resolution, H band Spectroscopy of Be Stars with SDSS-III/APOGEE: I. New Be Stars, Line Identifications, and Line Profiles" by S. Drew Chojnowski et al.
  • [ApJ] "Scaling of Observable Properties in Rotating Stars" by D. Castañeda and R. G. Deupree
  • [MNRAS] "Investigating the inner discs of Herbig Ae/Be stars with CO bandhead and Br Gamma emission" by John D. Ilee et al.
  • [A&A] "Radial dependence of line profile variability in seven O9--B0.5 stars" by F. Martins et al.
  • [MNRAS] "Time-series photometry of the O4 I(n)fp star zeta Puppis" by Ian D. Howarth and Ian R. Stevens
  • [ApJ] "A Blue Point Source at the Location of Supernova 2011dh" by Gastón Folatelli et al.
  • [New Astronomy] "First analysis of eight Algol-type systems: V537 And, GS Boo, AM CrB, V1298 Her, EL Lyn, FW Per, RU Tri, and WW Tri" by P. Zasche
  • [A&A] "The evolution of single B-type stars with a large angular momentum content" by Anahí Granada and Lionel Haemmerlé
  • [A&A] "Binary evolution using the theory of osculating orbits: conservative Algol evolution" by P. J. Davis, L. Siess, R. Deschamps

Dust composition and mass-loss return from the luminous blue variable R71 in the LMC

S. Guha Niyogi et al.

We present an analysis of mid-and far-infrared (IR) spectrum and spectral energy distribution (SED) of the LBV R71 in the LMC.This work aims to understand the overall contribution of high-mass LBVs to the total dust-mass budget of the interstellar medium (ISM) of the LMC and compare this with the contribution from low-mass asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars. As a case study, we analyze the SED of R71. We compiled all the available photometric and spectroscopic observational fluxes from various telescopes for a wide wavelength range (0.36 -- 250\,$\mu$m). We determined the dust composition from the spectroscopic data, and derived the ejected dust mass, dust mass-loss rate, and other dust shell properties by modeling the SED of R71. We noted nine spectral features in the dust shell of R71 by analyzing Spitzer spectroscopic data. Among these, we identified three new crystalline silicate features. We computed our model spectrum by using 3D radiative transfer code MCMax. Our model calculation shows that dust is dominated by amorphous silicates, with some crystalline silicates, metallic iron, and a very tiny amount of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules. The presence of both silicates and PAHs indicates that the dust has a mixed chemistry. We derived a dust mass of 0.01 M$_\odot$, from which we arrive at a total ejected mass of $\approx$ 5 M$_\odot$. This implies a time-averaged dust mass-loss rate of 2.5$\times$10$^{-6}$ M$_\odot$\,yr$^{-1}$ with an explosion about 4000 years ago. We assume that the other five confirmed dusty LBVs in the LMC loose mass at a similar rate, and estimate the total contribution to the mass budget of the LMC to be $\approx$ 10$^{-5}$ M$_\odot$\,yr$^{-1}$, which is comparable to the contribution by all the AGB stars in the LMC. Based on our analysis on R71, we speculate that LBVs as a class may be an important dust source in the ISM of the LMC.

Available at: arXiv:1409.3015


Pulsations as a Driver for LBV Variability

C. Lovekin and J. Guzik

Among the most spectacular variable stars are the Luminous Blue Variables (LBVs), which can show three types of variability. The LBV phase of evolution is poorly understood, and the driving mechanisms for the variability are not known. The most common type of variability, the S Dor instability, occurs on timescales of tens of years. During an S Dor outburst, the visual magnitude of the star increases, while the bolometric magnitude stays approximately constant. In this work, we investigate pulsation as a possible trigger for the S Dor type outbursts. We calculate the pulsations of envelope models using a nonlinear hydrodynamics code including a time-dependent convection treatment. We initialize the pulsation in the hydrodynamic model based on linear non-adiabatic calculations. Pulsation properties for a full grid of models from 20 to 85 M$_{\odot}$ were calculated, and in this paper we focus on the few models that show either long-period pulsations or outburst-like behaviour, with photospheric radial velocities reaching 70-80 km/s. At the present time, our models cannot follow mass loss, so once the outburst event begins, our simulations are terminated. Our results show that pulsations alone are not able to drive enough surface expansion to eject the outer layers. However, the outbursts and long-period pulsations discussed here produce large variations in effective temperature and luminosity, which are expected to produce large variations in the radiatively driven mass-loss rates.

Available at: arXiv:1407.1693


Physics of mass loss in massive stars

J. Puls, J.O. Sundqvist, N. Markova

We review potential mass-loss mechanisms in the various evolutionary stages of massive stars, from the well-known line-driven winds of O-stars and BA-supergiants to the less-understood winds from Red Supergiants. We discuss optically thick winds from Wolf-Rayet stars and Very Massive Stars, and the hypothesis of porosity-moderated, continuum-driven mass loss from stars formally exceeding the Eddington limit, which might explain the giant outbursts from Luminous Blue Variables. We finish this review with a glance on the impact of rapid rotation, magnetic fields and small-scale inhomogeneities in line-driven winds.

Available at: arXiv:1409.3582


High-resolution, H band Spectroscopy of Be Stars with SDSS-III/APOGEE: I. New Be Stars, Line Identifications, and Line Profiles

S. Drew Chojnowski et al.

APOGEE has amassed the largest ever collection of multi-epoch, high-resolution (R~22,500), H-band spectra for B-type emission line (Be) stars. The 128/238 APOGEE Be stars for which emission had never previously been reported serve to increase the total number of known Be stars by ~6%. We focus on identification of the H-band lines and analysis of the emission peak velocity separations (v_p) and emission peak intensity ratios (V/R) of the usually double-peaked H I and non-hydrogen emission lines. H I Br11 emission is found to preferentially form in the circumstellar disks at an average distance of ~2.2 stellar radii. Increasing v_p toward the weaker Br12--Br20 lines suggests these lines are formed interior to Br11. By contrast, the observed IR Fe II emission lines present evidence of having significantly larger formation radii; distinctive phase lags between IR Fe II and H I Brackett emission lines further supports that these species arise from different radii in Be disks. Several emission lines have been identified for the first time including ~16895, a prominent feature in the spectra for almost a fifth of the sample and, as inferred from relatively large v_p compared to the Br11-Br20, a tracer of the inner regions of Be disks. Unlike the typical metallic lines observed for Be stars in the optical, the H-band metallic lines, such as Fe II 16878, never exhibit any evidence of shell absorption, even when the H I lines are clearly shell-dominated. The first known example of a quasi-triple-peaked Br11 line profile is reported for HD 253659, one of several stars exhibiting intra- and/or extra-species V/R and radial velocity variation within individual spectra. Br11 profiles are presented for all discussed stars, as are full APOGEE spectra for a portion of the sample.

Available at: arXiv:1409.4668


Scaling of Observable Properties in Rotating Stars

D. Castañeda and R. G. Deupree

The spectral energy distribution as a function of inclination is computed using two-dimensional rotating stellar models and NLTE plane parallel stellar atmospheres. These models cover the range from 1.875 M sun to 3.0 M sun . The deduced effective temperature is determined by B – V computed from the spectral energy distribution, and the deduced luminosity is computed as the integral of the spectral energy distribution over all frequencies, assuming the distance and reddening are known. These deduced quantities are obtained from the observed spectral energy distribution assuming the objects are spherically symmetric, and thus the results are dependent on the inclination. Previous work has shown that the surface properties between two rotating stellar models with the same surface shape scale, and this is also true for the deduced effective temperature and luminosity over this limited mass range.

Available at: ApJ 794, 13


Investigating the inner discs of Herbig Ae/Be stars with CO bandhead and Br Gamma emission

John D. Ilee et al.

Herbig Ae/Be stars lie in the mass range between low and high mass young stars, and therefore offer a unique opportunity to observe any changes in the formation processes that may occur across this boundary. This paper presents medium resolution VLT/X-Shooter spectra of six Herbig Ae/Be stars, drawn from a sample of 91 targets, and high resolution VLT/CRIRES spectra of five Herbig Ae/Be stars, chosen based on the presence of CO first overtone bandhead emission in their spectra. The X-Shooter survey reveals a low detection rate of CO first overtone emission (7 per cent), consisting of objects mainly of spectral type B. A positive correlation is found between the strength of the CO v=2-0 and Br {\gamma} emission lines, despite their intrinsic linewidths suggesting a separate kinematic origin. The high resolution CRIRES spectra are modelled, and are well fitted under the assumption that the emission originates from small scale Keplerian discs, interior to the dust sublimation radius, but outside the co-rotation radius of the central stars. In addition, our findings are in very good agreement for the one object where spatially resolved near-infrared interferometric studies have also been performed. These results suggest that the Herbig Ae/Be stars in question are in the process of gaining mass via disc accretion, and that modelling of high spectral resolution spectra is able to provide a reliable probe into the process of stellar accretion in young stars of intermediate to high masses.

Available at: arXiv:1409.4897


Radial dependence of line profile variability in seven O9--B0.5 stars

F. Martins et al.

Massive stars show a variety of spectral variability: presence of discrete absorption components in UV P-Cygni profiles, optical line profile variability, X-ray variability, radial velocity modulations. Our goal is to study the spectral variability of single OB stars to better understand the relation between photospheric and wind variability. For that, we rely on high spectral resolution, high signal-to-noise ratio optical spectra collected with the spectrograph NARVAL on the Telescope Bernard Lyot at Pic du Midi. We investigate the variability of twelve spectral lines by means of the Temporal Variance Spectrum (TVS). The selected lines probe the radial structure of the atmosphere, from the photosphere to the outer wind. We also perform a spectroscopic analysis with atmosphere models to derive the stellar and wind properties, and to constrain the formation region of the selected lines. We show that variability is observed in the wind lines of all bright giants and supergiants, on a daily timescale. Lines formed in the photosphere are sometimes variable, sometimes not. The dwarf stars do not show any sign of variability. If variability is observed on a daily timescale, it can also (but not always) be observed on hourly timescales, albeit with lower amplitude. There is a very clear correlation between amplitude of the variability and fraction of the line formed in the wind. Strong anti-correlations between the different part of the temporal variance spectrum are observed. Our results indicate that variability is stronger in lines formed in the wind. A link between photospheric and wind variability is not obvious from our study, since wind variability is observed whatever the level of photospheric variability. Different photospheric lines also show different degrees of variability.

Available at: arXiv:1409.5057


Time-series photometry of the O4 I(n)fp star zeta Puppis

Ian D. Howarth and Ian R. Stevens

We report a time-series analysis of the O4 I(n)fp star zeta Pup, based on optical photometry obtained with the SMEI instrument on the Coriolis satellite, 2003--2006. A single astrophysical signal is found, with P = (1.780938 \pm 0.000093) d and a mean semi-amplitude of (6.9 \pm 0.3) mmag. There is no evidence for persistent coherent signals with semi-amplitudes in excess of ca. 2~mmag on any of the timescales previously reported in the literature. In particular, there is no evidence for a signature of the proposed rotation period, ca. 5.1~days; zeta Pup is therefore probably not an oblique magnetic rotator. The 1.8-day signal varies in amplitude by a factor ca. 2 on timescales of 10--100d (and probably by more on longer timescales), and exhibits modest excursions in phase, but there is no evidence for systematic changes in period over the 1000-d span of our observations. Rotational modulation and stellar-wind variability appear to be unlikely candidates for the underlying mechanism; we suggest that the physical origin of the signal may be pulsation associated with low-l oscillatory convection modes.

Available at: arXiv:1409.5258


A Blue Point Source at the Location of Supernova 2011dh

Gastón Folatelli

We present Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations of the field of the Type IIb supernova (SN) 2011dh in M51 performed at ~1161 rest-frame days after explosion using the Wide Field Camera 3 and near-UV filters F225W and F336W. A star-like object is detected in both bands and the photometry indicates it has negative (F225W - F336W) color. The observed object is compatible with the companion of the now-vanished yellow supergiant progenitor predicted in interacting binary models. We consider it unlikely that the SN is undergoing strong interaction and thus estimate that it makes a small contribution to the observed flux. The possibilities of having detected an unresolved light echo or an unrelated object are briefly discussed and judged unlikely. Adopting a possible range of extinction by dust, we constrain parameters of the proposed binary system. In particular, the efficiency of mass accretion onto the binary companion must be below 50%, if no significant extinction is produced by newly formed dust. Further multiband observations are required in order to confirm the identification of the object as the companion star. If confirmed, the companion star would already be dominant in the UV/optical regime, so it would readily provide a unique opportunity to perform a detailed study of its properties.

Available at: arXiv:1409.0700


First analysis of eight Algol-type systems: V537 And, GS Boo, AM CrB, V1298 Her, EL Lyn, FW Per, RU Tri, and WW Tri

P. Zasche

Analyzing available photometry from the Super WASP and other databases, we performed the very first light curve analysis of eight eclipsing binary systems V537 And, GS Boo, AM CrB, V1298 Her, EL Lyn, FW Per, RU Tri, and WW Tri. All of these systems were found to be detached ones of Algol-type, having the orbital periods of the order of days. 722 new times of minima for these binaries were derived and presented, trying to identify the period variations caused by the third bodies in these systems.

Available at: arXiv:1409.5227


The evolution of single B-type stars with a large angular momentum content

Anahí Granada, Lionel Haemmerlé

The database of intermediate mass rotating stellar models presented in the past years by the Geneva Stellar Evolution Group can be used to build synthetic stellar populations that fully account for the effects of stellar rotation. However, up to now we still lacked stellar evolutionary tracks that rotate close to the critical limit during the whole MS phase. This occurs because the flat internal profile of rotation imposed at the Zero-Age MS (ZAMS) is modified by the action of meridional currents immediately after the ZAMS, causing the surface rotational velocity to decrease abruptly until it reaches a quasi-stationary state. We compute stellar models with non-solid rotation at the ZAMS to obtain stellar evolutionary tracks with a larger content of angular momentum, that attain rotational equatorial velocities close to the critical limit throughout their MS phase. These models have a longer MS lifetime and a higher surface chemical enrichment already at the end of the MS, particularly at Z=0.002. Stellar models with solid rotation at the ZAMS adequately represent the overall characteristics and evolution of differentially rotating models of identical angular momentum content, but with a lower initial surface rotational velocity. For these models we recommend to use as the initial rotational rate the values derived once the quasi-stationary state is reached, after the abrupt decrease in surface velocity. Interestingly, the initial equatorial rotational velocities are virtually metallicity independent for the stellar models we computed with the same mass and angular momentum content at the ZAMS. If, as some observational evidence indicates, B-type stars at Z=0.002 rotate with a higher equatorial velocity at the ZAMS than stars with Z=0.014, our finding would indicate that the angular momentum content of B-type stars in the SMC is higher than their Galactic counterparts.

Available at: arXiv:1409.5553


Binary evolution using the theory of osculating orbits: conservative Algol evolution

P. J. Davis, L. Siess, R. Deschamps

Our aim is to calculate the evolution of Algol binaries within the framework of the osculating orbital theory, which considers the perturbing forces acting on the orbit of each star arising from mass exchange via Roche lobe overflow (RLOF). The scheme is compared to results calculated from a `classical' prescription. Using our stellar binary evolution code BINSTAR, we calculate the orbital evolution of Algol binaries undergoing case A and case B mass transfer, by applying the osculating scheme. The velocities of the ejected and accreted material are evaluated by solving the restricted three-body equations of motion, within the ballistic approximation. This allows us to determine the change of linear momentum of each star, and the gravitational force applied by the mass transfer stream. Torques applied on the stellar spins by tides and mass transfer are also considered. Using the osculating formalism gives shorter post-mass transfer orbital periods typically by a factor of 4 compared to the classical scheme, owing to the gravitational force applied onto the stars by the mass transfer stream. Additionally, during the rapid phase of mass exchange, the donor star is spun down on a timescale shorter than the tidal synchronization timescale, leading to sub-synchronous rotation. Consequently, between 15 and 20 per cent of the material leaving the inner-Lagrangian point is accreted back onto the donor (so-called `self-accretion'), further enhancing orbital shrinkage. Self-accretion, and the sink of orbital angular momentum which mass transfer provides, may potentially lead to more contact binaries. Even though Algols are mainly considered, the osculating prescription is applicable to all types of interacting binaries, including those with eccentric orbits.

Available at: arXiv:1408.4303


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