AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 54 Pulsating Stars: RR Lyraes, Miras, Cepheids, etc.
Poster, Tuesday, January 11, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[54.19] P Cygni Profiles in He I 10830: Mass Outflow in R Coronae Borealis Stars

C. B. Brozek (University of New Mexico, Maria Mitchell Observatory), G. Clayton (Louisiana State University, Maria Mitchell Observatory)

Over the past four years we have taken several spectra of twelve RCB stars, a type of variable that undergoes magnitude declines due to localized puffs of carbon dust obscuring the photosphere of the star. The spectra reveal, in almost all cases, either a P Cygni or a blue-shifted absorption profile in the He I 10830 line, indicative of mass outflow. If the carbon dust is dragging the He gas along, then there should be a correlation between the spectra taken and the light curve of the star. Indeed, it seems that stars that have gone for longer lengths of time without a decline have a less distinctive P Cygni profile. Stars that have just had a decline tend to have a blue-shifted absorption feature in their spectra. For the first time, we have strong evidence of stellar winds in RCB stars. The spectral data taken allows for more detailed study of the carbon dust than previously possible and reveals many interesting relationships between the light curve and the state of the He 10830 line. This project was supported by the NSF/REU grant AST-0354056 and the Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association.

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