The Widespread Occurrence of Water Vapor in the Circumstellar Envelopes of Carbon-Rich Asymptotic Giant Branch Stars: First Results From a Survey With Herschel/HIFI
Journal article, 2011

We report the preliminary results of a survey for water vapor in a sample of eight C stars with large mid-IR continuum fluxes: V384 Per, CIT 6, V Hya, Y CVn, IRAS 15194-5115, V Cyg, S Cep, and IRC+40540. This survey, performed using the HIFI instrument on board the Herschel Space Observatory, entailed observations of the lowest transitions of both ortho-and para-water: the 556.936 GHz 1(10)-1(01) and 1113.343 GHz 1(11)-0(00) transitions, respectively. Water vapor was unequivocally detected in all eight of the target stars. Prior to this survey, IRC+10216 was the only carbon-rich asymptotic giant branch (AGB) star from which thermal water emissions had been discovered, in that case with the use of the Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite (SWAS). Our results indicate that IRC+10216 is not unusual, except insofar as its proximity to Earth leads to a large line flux that was detectable with SWAS. The water spectral line widths are typically similar to those of CO rotational lines, arguing against the vaporization of a Kuiper Belt analog being the general explanation for water vapor in carbon-rich AGB stars. There is no apparent correlation between the ratio of the integrated water line fluxes to the 6.3 mu m continuum flux-a ratio which measures the water outflow rate-and the total mass-loss rate for the stars in our sample.



submillimeter: stars


mass-loss rates





stars: abundances


stars: AGB and post-AGB


circumstellar matter


D. A. Neufeld

Johns Hopkins University

E. Gonzalez-Alfonso

University of Alcalá

G. J. Melnick

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

R. Szczerba

Polish Academy of Sciences

M. Schmidt

Polish Academy of Sciences

L. Decin

KU Leuven

University of Amsterdam

J. Alcolea

Spanish National Observatory (OAN)

A. de Koter

University of Amsterdam

Sterrekundig Instituut Utrecht

Fredrik Schöier

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Onsala Space Observatory

V. Bujarrabal

Spanish National Observatory (OAN)

J. Cernicharo

Centro de Astrobiologia (CAB)

C. Dominik

Radboud University

University of Amsterdam

Kay Justtanont

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Radio Astronomy and Astrophysics

A. P. Marston

European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC)

K. Menten

Max Planck Society

Hans Olofsson

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Onsala Space Observatory

P. Planesas

Spanish National Observatory (OAN)

Atacama Large Millimeter-submillimeter Array (ALMA)

D. Teyssier

Centro de Astrobiologia (CAB)

Lbfm Waters

Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON)

University of Amsterdam

Astrophysical Journal Letters

2041-8205 (ISSN) 2041-8213 (eISSN)

Vol. 727 2 L29

Subject Categories

Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology



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