Do evolved stars in the LMC show dual dust chemistry?

E. Marini, F. Dell’Agli, D. A. García-Hernández, M. A. T. Groenewegen, S. Puccetti, P. Ventura, E. Villaver. 2019. Do evolved stars in the LMC show dual dust chemistry?. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters 488, 1, L85-L89, DOI: 10.1093/mnrasl/slz105

We study a group of evolved M-stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud, characterized by a peculiar spectral energy distribution. While the 9.7 μμm feature arises from silicate particles, the whole infrared data seem to suggest the presence of an additional featureless dust species. We propose that the circumstellar envelopes of these sources are characterized by a dual dust chemistry, with an internal region, harbouring carbonaceous particles, and an external zone, populated by silicate, iron, and alumina dust grains. Based on the comparison with results from stellar modelling that describe the dust formation process, we deduce that these stars descend from low-mass (M < 2 M) objects, formed 1–4 Gyr ago, currently evolving either in the post-AGB phase or through an after-pulse phase, when the shell CNO nuclear activity is temporarily extinguished. Possible observations able to confirm or disregard the present hypothesis are discussed.

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