|Probing the molecular disk in Y Gem: an AGB star with variable UV emission signifying accretion onto a binary companion
|We propose to observe CO J=6-5 and 9-8 line emission from a cool AGB star, Y Gem, which, in dramatic contrast to most objects in its class, has relatively strong and variable FUV and NUV fluxes - evidence of variable accretion of matter onto an accretion disk in a binary system. We found Y Gem as a UV source serendipitously, while combing the GALEX archive as part of a project to look for hot binary companions to cool AGB stars. This object may represent the earliest phases of an AGB star with a growing accretion disk which will produce collimated jets that are widely believed to sculpt the round circumstellar envelopes of AGB stars into bipolar planetary nebulae. It may evolve into a member of the class of post-AGB objects which show no extended outflows, but only circumbinary disks. HIFI observations of high-J CO lines are needed to probe the warmest and innermost circumstellar regions where the hypothesized accretion disk resides and jet launching may occur. Furthermore, the proposed CO observations, together with our existing CO J=2-1 data, will allow us to accurately constrain the CO excitation temperature, and the optical depths of the CO lines and thus the total mass of the emitting region. The disk or torus mass will provide an important constraint on its formation process (e.g., common envelope evolution or Bondi-Hoyle wind-accretion- Roche lobe overflow.)
|Herschel was launched on 14 May 2009! It is the fourth 'cornerstone' mission in the ESA science programme. With a 3.5 m Cassegrain telescope it is the largest space telescope ever launched. It is performing photometry and spectroscopy in approximately the 55-671 µm range, bridging the gap between earlier infrared space missions and groundbased facilities.
|Publisher And Registrant
|European Space Agency
|European Space Agency, 2013, OT2_rsahai_6, SPG v14.1.0. https://doi.org/10.5270/esa-ebt3cs7