Thursday, January 17, 2013

1301.3587 (Aruna Goswami et al.)

Subaru/HDS study of HE 1015-2050: Spectral evidence of R Coronae Borealis light decline    [PDF]

Aruna Goswami, Wako Aoki
Hydrogen deficiency and a sudden optical light decline by about 6-8 mag are two principal characteristics of R Coronae Borealis (RCB) stars. The high latitude carbon star HE 1015-2050 was identified as a hydrogen-deficient carbon star from low-resolution spectroscopy. Photometric data of the Catalina Real-Time Transient Survey gathered between 2006 February and 2012 May indicate that the object exhibits no variability. However, a high-resolution (R ~ 50,000) optical spectrum of this object obtained with the 8.2m Subaru telescope using High Dispersion Spectrograph on the 2012 January 13 offers sufficient spectral evidences for the object being a cool HdC star of RCB type undergoing light decline. In contrast to the Na I D broad absorption features, seen in the low-resolution spectra on several occasions, the high-resolution spectrum exhibits Na I D2 and D1 features in emission. A few emission lines due to Mg I, Sc II, Ti I, Ti II, Fe II and Ba I are also observed in the spectrum of this object for the first time. Such emission features combined with neutral and singly ionized lines of Ca, Ti, Fe, etc., in absorption are reportedly seen in RCBs spectra in the early stage of decline or during the recovery to maximum. Further, the light decline of RCBs is ascribed to the formation of a cloud of soot that obscures the visible photosphere. Presence of such circumstellar material is evident from the polarimetric observations with an estimated V-band percentage polarization of ~1.7% for this object.
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