Quintana Lacaci, G., Cernicharo, J., Agundez, M., Fonfria, J. P., Velilla Prieto, L., Contreras, C. S., Bujarrabal, V., Castro Carrizo., Alcolea, J. 2019. Hints of the Existence of C-rich Massive Evolved Stars. Astrophysical Journal 876, 2, DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/ab133e
We aim to study the properties of a particular type of evolved stars, C-rich evolved stars with high expansion velocities. For this purpose we have focused on the two best studied objects within this group, IRC+10401 and AFGL 2233. We focused on determining their luminosity by studying their spectral energy distribution. Also, we have obtained single-dish line profiles and interferometric maps of the CO J – 1-0 and J = 2-1. emission lines for both objects. We have modeled this emission using a LVG radiative transfer code to determine the kinetic temperature and density profiles of the gas ejected by these stars. We have found that the luminosities obtained for these objects (log(L/L-circle dot). =. 4.1 and 5.4) locate them in the domain of the massive asymptotic giant branch stars (AGBs) and the red supergiant stars (RSGs). In addition, the mass-loss rates obtained (1.5. x. 10(-5)-6. x 10(-3)M(circle dot) yr(-1)) suggest that while IRC+ 10401 might be an AGB star, AFGL 2233 could be an RSG star. All these results, together with those from previous works, suggest that both objects are massive objects, IRC+10401 a massive evolved star with M-init similar to 5-9M(circle dot). which could correspond to an AGB or an RSG and AFGL 2233 an RSG with M-init similar to 20M(circle dot), which would confirm the existence of massive C-rich evolved stars. Two scenarios are proposed to form these types of objects. The first one is capable of producing high-mass AGB stars up to similar to 8M(circle dot). and the second one is capable of forming C-rich RSGs like AFGL 2233.