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The shock-heated atmosphere of an asymptotic giant branch star resolved by ALMA
Onsala Space Observ, Chalmers Univ Technol, Dept Space Earth & Environm, S-43992 Onsala, Sweden..
Onsala Space Observ, Chalmers Univ Technol, Dept Space Earth & Environm, S-43992 Onsala, Sweden..
Dublin Inst Adv Studies, 31 Fitzwilliam Pl, Dublin 2, Ireland..
Onsala Space Observ, Chalmers Univ Technol, Dept Space Earth & Environm, S-43992 Onsala, Sweden..
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2017 (English)In: NATURE ASTRONOMY, ISSN 2397-3366, Vol. 1, no 12, p. 848-853Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Our current understanding of the chemistry and mass-loss processes in Sun-like stars at the end of their evolution depends critically on the description of convection, pulsations and shocks in the extended stellar atmosphere(1). Three-dimensional hydrodynamical stellar atmosphere models provide observational predictions(2), but so far the resolution to constrain the complex temperature and velocity structures seen in the models has been lacking. Here we present sub-millimetre continuum and line observations that resolve the atmosphere of the asymptotic giant branch star W Hydrae. We show that hot gas with chromospheric characteristics exists around the star. Its filling factor is shown to be small. The existence of such gas requires shocks with a cooling time longer than commonly assumed. A shocked hot layer will be an important ingredient in current models of stellar convection, pulsation and chemistry at the late stages of stellar evolution.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP , 2017. Vol. 1, no 12, p. 848-853
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-340269DOI: 10.1038/s41550-017-0288-9ISI: 000418271300005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-340269DiVA, id: diva2:1179106
Funder
EU, European Research Council, 614264Swedish Research CouncilSwedish National Space BoardAvailable from: 2018-01-31 Created: 2018-01-31 Last updated: 2018-01-31Bibliographically approved

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