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Paper: Tails of Stellar Mass-Loss: VLA Imaging of H I in Circumstellar Envelopes
Volume: 445, Why Galaxies Care about AGB Stars II: Shining Examples and Common Inhabitants
Page: 305
Authors: Matthews, L. D.; Gérard, E.; Johnson, M. C.; Bertre, T. L.; Libert, Y.; Reid, M. J.
Abstract: Because neutral atomic hydrogen (H I) is not destroyed by the interstellar radiation field in circumstellar environments, its 21-cm line transition can be used to trace circumstellar envelopes at significantly larger distances from the star than molecular lines (up to a parsec or more), thereby probing the stellar mass-loss history over very extended time-scales. The H I line also supplies unique kinematic information on the interaction between the CSE and its interstellar environment. During the past several years, our group has been using the Very Large Array (VLA) to study the mass-loss histories of evolved stars via their H I 21-cm line emission. Here we highlight some recent results from our on-going VLA surveys, including the discovery of extended H I “tails,” shells, and other structures associated with a number of well-known AGB stars. We also describe how our results can be used to place new constraints on mass-loss time-scales during the AGB, as well as on the interplay between mass-losing stars and the interstellar medium.
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