AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 13. Atmospheres, Winds, Envelopes, Disks and Planetaries
Display, Monday, May 31, 1999, 9:20am-6:30pm, Southeast Exhibit Hall

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[13.06] The Circumstellar Environment of VY CMa

N. Smith (Boston University), R. M. Humphreys (U. Minnesota), J. Krautter (Landessternwarte, Heidelberg), R. D. Gehrz, K. Davidson, T. J. Jones (U. Minnesota), S. Hubrig (Landessternwarte, Heidelberg)

VY Canis Majoris is one of the most luminous known M supergiants. It is near the upper liminosity limit for cool stars on the HR Diagram. The optical star is partially obscured by its own circumstellar material. We present preliminary results of recent HST/WFPC2 optical imaging, and ground-based near-IR and mid-IR imaging of VY CMa and its circumstellar environment. We compare these results with previously obtained images of the related, but more evolved object IRC+10420 and discuss implications for their possible evolutionary and mass loss histories.

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