Context. Both the absolute mass-loss rates and the mechanisms that drive the mass loss of late-type supergiants are still not well known. Binaries such as α Sco provide the most detailed empirical information about the winds of these stars.
Aims: Our goal was to improve the binary technique for the determination of the mass-loss rate of
Methods: We performed 3D hydrodynamic simulations of the circumstellar envelope of α Sco in combination with plasma simulations accounting for the heating, ionization, and excitation of the wind by the radiation of
Results: The present model of the extended envelope of α Sco reproduces some of the structures that were observed in the circumstellar absorption lines in the spectrum of α Sco B. Our theoretical density and velocity distributions of the outflow deviate considerably from a spherically expanding model, which was used in previous studies. This results in a higher mass-loss rate of (2 ± 0.5) × 10-6 M☉ yr-1. The hot H ii region around the secondary star induces an additional acceleration of the wind at large distances from the primary, which is seen in absorption lines of Ti ii and Cr ii at -30 km s-1.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- October 2012
- circumstellar matter;
- binaries: visual;
- stars: individual:αScorpii;
- stars: late-type;
- stars: mass-loss;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
- 12 pages, 14 figures, accepted for publication in A&