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Herschel SPIRE and PACS observations of the red supergiant VY CMa: analysis of the molecular line spectra

Matsuura, Mikako ORCID:, Yates, J. A., Barlow, M. J., Swinyard, Bruce, Royer, P., Cernicharo, J., Decin, L., Wesson, R., Polehampton, E. T., Blommaert, J. A. D. L., Groenewegen, M. A. T., de Steene, G. C. Van and Van Hoof, P. A. M. 2014. Herschel SPIRE and PACS observations of the red supergiant VY CMa: analysis of the molecular line spectra. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 437 (1) , pp. 532-546. 10.1093/mnras/stt1906

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We present an analysis of the far-infrared and submillimetre molecular emission-line spectrum of the luminous M-supergiant VY CMa, observed with the Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver (SPIRE) and Photodetector Array Camera and Spectrometer for Herschel spectrometers aboard the Herschel Space Observatory. Over 260 emission lines were detected in the 190–650 μm SPIRE Fourier Transform Spectrometer spectra, with one-third of the observed lines being attributable to H2O. Other detected species include CO, 13CO, H O, SiO, HCN, SO, SO2, CS, H2S and NH3. Our model fits to the observed 12CO and 13CO line intensities yield a 12C/13C ratio of 5.6 ± 1.8, consistent with measurements of this ratio for other M-supergiants, but significantly lower than previously estimated for VY CMa from observations of lower-J lines. The spectral line energy distribution for 20 SiO rotational lines shows two temperature components: a hot component at ∼1000 K, which we attribute to the stellar atmosphere and inner wind, plus a cooler ∼200 K component, which we attribute to an origin in the outer circumstellar envelope. We fit the line fluxes of 12CO, 13CO, H2O and SiO, using the smmol non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) line transfer code, with a mass-loss rate of 1.85 × 10−4 M⊙ yr−1 between 9R* and 350R*. We also fit the observed line fluxes of 12CO, 13CO, H2O and SiO with smmol non-LTE line radiative transfer code, along with a mass-loss rate of 1.85 × 10−4 M⊙ yr−1. To fit the high rotational lines of CO and H2O, the model required a rather flat temperature distribution inside the dust condensation radius, attributed to the high H2O opacity. Beyond the dust condensation radius the gas temperature is fitted best by an r−0.5 radial dependence, consistent with the coolant lines becoming optically thin. Our H2O emission-line fits are consistent with an ortho:para ratio of 3 in the outflow.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Uncontrolled Keywords: radiative transfer ; stars: individual: VY CMa ; stars: mass-loss ; ISM: molecules ; infrared: stars ; submillimetre: stars
Additional Information: Full text PDF uploaded in accordance with the publisher polcy at [Accessed 18/03/15]
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0035-8711
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 4 October 2013
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 22:28

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