Thursday, June 27, 2013

1306.6183 (Ambra Nanni et al.)

Evolution of Thermally Pulsing Asymptotic Giant Branch Stars II. Dust production at varying metallicity    [PDF]

Ambra Nanni, Alessandro Bressan, Paola Marigo, Léo Girardi
We present the dust ejecta of the new stellar models for the Thermally Pulsing Asymptotic Giant Branch (TP-AGB) phase computed with the COLIBRI code. We use a formalism of dust growth coupled with a stationary wind for both M and C-stars. In the original version of this formalism, the most efficient destruction process of silicate dust in M-giants is chemisputtering by H2 molecules. For these stars we find that dust grains can only form at relatively large radial distances (r~5 R*), where they cannot be efficiently accelerated, in agreement with other investigations. In the light of recent laboratory results, we also consider the alternative case that the condensation temperature of silicates is determined only by the competition between growth and free evaporation processes (i.e. no chemisputtering). With this latter approach we obtain dust condensation temperatures that are significantly higher (up to Tcond~1400 K) than those found when chemisputtering is included (Tcond~900 K), and in better agreement with condensation experiments. As a consequence, silicate grains can remain stable in inner regions of the circumstellar envelopes (r~2 R*), where they can rapidly grow and can be efficiently accelerated. With this modification, our models nicely reproduce the observed trend between terminal velocities and mass loss rates of Galactic M-giants. For C-stars the formalism is based on the homogeneous growth scheme where the key role is played by the carbon over oxygen excess. The models reproduce fairly well the terminal velocities of Galactic stars and there is no need to invoke changes in the standard assumptions. At decreasing metallicity the carbon excess becomes more pronounced and the efficiency of dust formation increases. This trend could be in tension with recent observational evidence in favour of a decreasing efficiency, at decreasing metallicity.
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