High-resolution observations of IRAS 08544-4431 Detection of a disk orbiting a post-AGB star and of a slow disk wind

V. Bujarrabal, A. Castro-Carrizo, H. Van Winckel, J. Alcolea, C. Sanchez Contreras, M. Santander-Garcia, M. Hillen. 2018. High-resolution observations of IRAS 08544-4431 Detection of a disk orbiting a post-AGB star and of a slow disk wind. Astronomy and Astrophysics 614, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201732422

In order to study the effects of rotating disks in the post-asymptotic giant branch (post-AGB) evolution, we observe a class of binary post-AGB stars that seem to be systematically surrounded by equatorial disks and slow outflows. Although the rotating dynamics had only been well identified in three cases, the study of such structures is thought to be fundamental to the understanding of the formation of disks in various phases of the late evolution of binary stars and the ejection of planetary nebulae from evolved stars.

Methods. We present ALMA maps of (CO)-C-12 and (CO)-C-13 J = 3-2 lines in the source IRAS 08544-4431, which belongs to the above mentioned class of objects. We analyzed the data by means of nebula models, which account for the expectedly composite source and can reproduce the data. From our modeling, we estimated the main nebula parameters, including the structure and dynamics and the density and temperature distributions. We discuss the uncertainties of the derived values and, in particular, their dependence on the distance.

Results. Our observations reveal the presence of an equatorial disk in rotation; a low-velocity outflow is also found, probably formed of gas expelled from the disk. The main characteristics of our observations and modeling of IRAS 08544-4431 are similar to those of better studied objects, confirming our interpretation. The disk rotation indicates a total central mass of about 1.8 M circle dot, for a distance of 1100 pc. The disk is found to be relatively extended and has a typical diameter of similar to 4 x 10(16) cm. The total nebular mass is similar to 2 x 10(-2) M circle dot, of which similar to 90% corresponds to the disk. Assuming that the outflow is due to mass loss from the disk, we derive a disk lifetime of similar to 10 000 yr. The disk angular momentum is found to be comparable to that of the binary system at present. Assuming that the disk angular momentum was transferred from the binary system, as expected, the high values of the disk angular momentum in this and other similar disks suggest that the size of the stellar orbits has significantly decreased as a consequence of disk formation.

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