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The double dust envelopes of R Coronae Borealis stars

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Abstract

The study of extended, cold dust envelopes surrounding R Coronae Borealis (RCB) stars began with their discovery by IRAS. RCB stars are carbon-rich supergiants characterized by their extreme hydrogen deficiency and for their irregular and spectacular declines in brightness (up to 9 mags). We have analyzed new and archival Spitzer Space Telescope and Herschel Space Observatory data of the envelopes of seven RCB stars to examine the morphology and investigate the origin of these dusty shells. Herschel, in particular, has revealed the first ever bow shock associated with an RCB star with its observations of SU Tauri. These data have allowed the assembly of the most comprehensive spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of these stars with multi{wavelength data from the ultraviolet to the submillimeter. Radiative transfer modeling of the SEDs implies that the RCB stars in this sample are surrounded by an inner warm (up to 1,200 K) and an outer cold (up to 200 K) envelope. The outer shells are suggested to contain up to 10-3 M o of dust and have existed for up to 105 yr depending on the expansion rate of the dust. This age limit indicates that these structures have most likely been formed during the RCB phase.

Citation

(2018). The double dust envelopes of R Coronae Borealis stars. Astronomical Journal, https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-3881/aad772

Acceptance Date Aug 1, 2018
Publication Date Sep 10, 2018
Journal Astronomical Journal
Print ISSN 0004-6256
Publisher American Astronomical Society
DOI https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-3881/aad772
Keywords circumstellar matter, dust, extinction, stars, evolution, mass loss
Publisher URL https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-3881/aad772

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