Exploring the Circumstellar Environments of AGB Stars with Optical Interferometry

Jonathan Brashear 
Ph.D. Candidate
Physics Department 
The Catholic University of America 

Wed, February 21, 2024 - 4:00 PM

brashear_sm.jpgAsymptotic Giant Branch stars are an important phase of the post main-sequence evolution of low mass stars. These cool, giant stars are often surrounded by molecular layers and circumstellar dust shells. With high mass loss rates due to their stellar winds, they are significant contributors of enriched material to the interstellar medium. To resolve their circumstellar environments, high angular resolution provided by optical interferometry is required. I will report on interferometric observations of the carbon-rich AGB star V Oph made with the MATISSE instrument at the Very Large Telescope Interferometer. These observations probe the molecular layers and dust shell around the star in the infrared. I will then describe how I use the radiative transfer package RadMC-3D to model the circumstellar environment around the star.

Refreshments served at 3:45 PM

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