The wind speeds, dust content, and mass-loss rates of evolved AGB and RSG stars at varying metallicity

Steven R. Goldman (1), Jacco Th. van Loon (1), Albert A. Zijlstra (2), James A. Green (3,4), Peter R. Wood (5), Ambra Nanni (6), Hiroshi Imai (7), Patricia A. Whitelock (8,9), Mikako Matsuura (10), Martin A. T. Groenewegen (11), and José F. Gómez (12)

1 - Astrophysics Group, Lennard–Jones Laboratories, Keele University, Staffordshire ST5 5BG, UK
2 - Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, Alan Turing Building, School of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
3 - SKA Organisation, Jodrell Bank Observatory, Lower Withington, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 9DL, UK
4 - CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, Australia Telescope National Facility, PO Box 76, Epping, NSW 1710, Australia
5 - Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Australian National University, Weston Creek, ACT 2611, Australia
6 - Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia Galileo Galilei, vicolo dell’Osservatorio 3, I-35141 Padova PD, Italy
7 - Department of Physics and Astronomy, Kagoshima University, 1-21-35 Korimoto, Kagoshima 890-0065, Japan
8 - South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), PO Box 9, 7935 Observatory, South Africa
9 - Astronomy Department, University of Cape Town, 7701 Rondebosch, South Africa
10 - School of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University, Queen’s Buildings, The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AA, UK
11 - Royal Observatory of Belgium, Ringlaan 3, B-1180 Brussels, Belgium
12 - Instituto de Astrof´ısica de Andaluc´ıa, CSIC, Glorieta de la Astronom´ıa s/n, E-18008 Granada, Spain

We present the results of our survey of 1612-MHz circumstellar OH maser emission from asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars and red supergiants (RSGs) in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). We have discovered four new circumstellar maser sources in the LMC, and increased the number of reliable wind speeds from infrared (IR) stars in the LMC from 5 to 13. Using our new wind speeds, as well as those from Galactic sources, we have derived an updated relation for dust-driven winds: vexp ∝ ZL0.4. We compare the subsolar metallicity LMC OH/IR stars with carefully selected samples of more metal-rich OH/IR stars, also at known distances, in the Galactic Centre and Galactic bulge. We derive pulsation periods for eight of the bulge stars for the first time by using near-IR photometry from the Vista Variables in the Via Lactea survey. We have modelled our LMC OH/IR stars and developed an empirical method of deriving gas-to-dust ratios and mass-loss rates by scaling the models to the results from maser profiles. We have done this also for samples in the Galactic Centre and bulge and derived a new mass-loss prescription which includes luminosity, pulsation period, and gas-to-dust ratio M˙ = 1.06+3.5 −0.8 × 10−5(L/104 L) 0.9±0.1(P /500 d)0.75±0.3(rgd/200)−0.03±0.07 M yr−1. The tightest correlation is found between mass-loss rate and luminosity. We find that the gas-to-dust ratio has little effect on the mass-loss of oxygen-rich AGB stars and RSGs within the Galaxy and the LMC. This suggests that the mass-loss of oxygen-rich AGB stars and RSGs is (nearly) independent of metallicity between a half and twice solar.

Reference: MNRAS, 465, 403 (2017)
Status: Manuscript has been accepted