Shaping the Outflows of Binary AGB Stars
Paper in proceedings, 2015
The required conditions for stars to evolve into planetary nebulae (PNe) continue to puzzle. Since PNe are found in a wide variety of shapes, processes that could sculpt circumstellar envelopes (CSEs) are being investigated. A binary companion will have a strong gravitational effect, but known binary AGB stars are rare. We have observed the CO emission from a small sample of known binary AGB stars (R Aqr, Mira, W Aql, and pi(1). Gru) with ALMA. The stars cover a decisive range in binary separation, necessary to provide essential constraints for 3-D models of the binary interaction. They have previously been observed with Herschel/PACS and VLTI/MIDI allowing the circumstellar morphology to be studied from the very inner CSE out to the very largest scales. The circumstellar gas distribution will strongly depend on how the mass is initially lost from the primary. These observations will therefore not only help us understand the important processes for the binary interaction, but will also provide crucial information needed to understand the mass-loss mechanisms of the primary. The first set of observations has been delivered and preliminary results are presented.