Friday, March 6, 2015

Detection of a Second Disk Around a Dying Star

Detection of Keplerian dynamics in a disk around the post-AGB star AC Her


Bujarrabal et al


So far, only one rotating disk has been clearly identified and studied in AGB or post-AGB objects (in the Red Rectangle), by means of observations with high spectral and spatial resolution. However, disks are thought to play a key role in the late stellar evolution and are suspected to surround many evolved stars. We aim to extend our knowledge on these structures.

We present interferometric observations of CO J=2-1 emission from the nebula surrounding the post-AGB star AC Her, a source belonging to a class of objects that share properties with the Red Rectangle and show hints of Keplerian disks.

We clearly detect the Keplerian dynamics of a second disk orbiting an evolved star. Its main properties (size, temperature, central mass) are derived from direct interpretation of the data and model fitting. With this we confirm that there are disks orbiting the stars of this relatively wide class of post-AGB objects

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