Contents of: VI/111/./abstract/MMEIXNER_PROP_AFS.abs

The following document lists the file abstract/MMEIXNER_PROP_AFS.abs from catalogue VI/111.
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During the last stages of its evolution, low mass stars (<8 Msol) loose about
1 Msol in the form of a cool, low velocity (10 km/s) molecular wind on
the Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB). This phase is thought to end with a burst
of increasing mass loss rate (the "superwind") which largely exhausts the
star.  The star then moves to the left in the HR diagram (the proto-
planetary nebula phase, PPN). Once the central star becomes hot enough, the
still expanding AGB wind will be ionized. At some point during its evolution,
the central star will start losing mass in a fast (100-1000 km/s) but low
density wind. This fast wind will drive fast shocks into the AGB wind.
The interaction of these winds and the hardening of the UV radiation field
will shape the resulting planetary nebula.  Understanding this mass loss
process and its evolution during the AGB, PPN and PN phases is a key problem
within astrophysics because most of interstellar gas and dust originates
from these stellar sources.

Here, we propose high resolution spectroscopy  of far-infrared atomic
fine structure lines in fourteen AGB stars, PPNe, and PNe using the ISO LWS and
SWS FP spectrometers. Our goal is to determine the physical conditions in the
circumstellar envelopes and the relative importance of shocks and far-UV
photons  in their evolution. The FIR atomic fine  structure lines of
[CII] 158 um, [OI] 63 and 146 um, [SiII] 35 um, [FeII] 26 um
and [SI] 25 um are the primary coolants of warm ( 500K), dense ( 10^6 cm-3)
neutral gas and are important probes of photodissociation regions and shock
excited regions. The proposed observations will identify and distinguish between
warm gas created by shocks and by far-UV photons in PPNe & PNe and will probe
the photodissociative effects of the interstellar radiation field on the outer
layers of AGB envelopes. The importance of shocks vs. far-UV photons for the
warm gas can be directly establish from the observed [CII] (PDR tracer) to
[SI] (shock tracer) emission. Furthermore, the SWS FP has a resolution of
10km/s, sufficient to resolve "shocked" line profiles.

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