There is no standard model for mass loss from cool evolved stars, particularly for non-pulsating giants and supergiants. For the early-M supergiants, radiation pressure, convective ejections, magnetic fields, and Alfven waves have all been put forward as potential mass loss mechanisms. A potential discriminator between these ideas is the thermal structure resulting from the heating-cooling balance in the acceleration zone - the most important region to study mass loss physics.We present mid-IR [Fe II] emission line profiles of Betelgeuse and Antares obtained with NASA-DLR SOFIA-EXES and NASA IRTF-TEXES that were obtained as part of a GO program (Harper: Cycle 2-0004) and EXES instrument commissioning observations. The intra-term transitions sample a range of excitation conditions, Texc=540K, 3,400K, and 11,700K, i.e., from the warm chromospheric plasma, that also emits in the cm-radio and ultraviolet, to the cold inner circumstellar envelope. The spectrally-resolved profiles, when combined with VLA cm-radio observations, provide new constraints on the temperature and flow velocity in the outflow accelerating region. The semi-empirical energy balance can be used to test theoretical predictions of wind heating.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts #227
- Pub Date:
- January 2016