The Morphology of IRC+10420's Circumstellar Ejecta

Chelsea Tiffany, Roberta M. Humphreys, Terry J. jones and Kris Davidson

University of Minnesota

Images of the circumstellar ejecta associated with the post-red supergiant
IRC+10420 show a complex ejecta with visual evidence for episodic mass loss. In this paper we describe the transverse motions of numerous knots, arcs and condensations in the inner ejecta measured from second epoch HST/WFPC2 images. When combined with the radial motions for several of the features, the total space motion and direction of the outflows show that they were ejected at different times, in different directions, and presumably from separate regions on the surface of the star. These discrete structures in the ejecta are kinematically
distinct from the general expansion of the nebula and their motions are dominated by their transverse velocities. They are apparently all moving within a few degrees of the plane of the sky. We are thus viewing IRC+10420 nearly pole-on and looking nearly directly down onto its equatorial plane. We also discuss the role of surface activity and magnetic fields on IRC+10420's recent mass loss history.

Reference: Astronomical Journal
Status: Manuscript has been accepted