Spectroscopic studies of the unique yellow supergiant a Aqr in the Cepheid instability strip

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Anatoly S. Miroshnichenko, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Based on 21 spectra with resolutions from 12 000 to 42 000 taken in 1997–2016 for the yellow supergiant a Aqr (which is believed to be nonvariable in the Cepheid instability strip), we have determined its effective temperature Teff and radial velocities from metal and hydrogen absorption lines. Blue and red components that account for 20–25% of the total number of lines used have been detected in the profiles of these lines. The effective temperature and radial velocities estimated from metal lines and their components do not show any noticeable variations, while the radial velocities determined from hydrogen lines show variations that are largest for the Ha line, with an amplitude of more than 10 km s-1. These variations resemble periodic (~100 days) and sporadic ones. The presence of variable red components in the hydrogen line cores confirms that there is a circumstellar envelope around the supergiant. The radial velocities of these components exhibit a behavior similar to that of the hydrogen lines but with larger amplitudes (it is twice that for the R component of the Ha line). Such an unusual variability as well as the presence of blue components in metal lines and the star’s position at the red edge of the Cepheid instability strip can be explained by a possible residual pulsational activity in the upper atmospheric layers of the star, which “swings” the envelope with a larger amplitude when passing into a less dense medium. The multicomponent structure of the Na I D doublet lines and their variations over long time intervals may be indicative of a chromospheric activity and a change in the stellar wind intensity. These processes can affect the sporadic variations of the radial velocities in the upper atmospheric layers of the star and its envelope. We raise the question about a revision of the classification of a Aqr as a yellow nonvariable supergiant.

Additional Information

Astronomy Letter, 43(11), 751-767
Language: English
Date: 2017
yellow supergiants, Cepheid instability strip, spectra, radial velocities, hydrogen absorption lines, circumstellar envelopes, small-amplitude pulsations

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