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Title: The Rapidly Evolving Asymptotic Giant Branch Star, V Hya: ALMA Finds a Multiring Circus with High-velocity Outflows

We have observed the mass-losing carbon star V Hya that is apparently transitioning from an asymptotic giant branch star to a bipolar planetary nebula, at an unprecedented angular resolution of ∼0.″4–0.″6 with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array. Our13CO and12CO (J= 3–2 andJ= 2–1) images have led to the discovery of a remarkable set of six expanding rings within a flared, warped disk structure undergoing dynamical expansion (DUDE) that lies in the system’s equatorial plane. We also find, for the first time, several bipolar, high-velocity outflows, some of which have parabolic morphologies, implying wide-opening angles, while one (found previously) is clumpy and highly collimated. The latter is likely associated with the high-velocity bullet-like ejections of ionized gas from V Hya; a possible molecular counterpart to the oldest of the four bullets can be seen in the12CO images. We find a bright, unresolved central source of continuum emission (FWHM size ≲165 au); about 40% of this emission can be produced in a standard radio photosphere, while the remaining 60% is likely due to thermal emission from very large (millimeter-sized) grains, having mass ≳10−5M. We have used a radiative transfer model to fit the salient characteristics of the DUDE’s13CO and12CO emission out to a radius of 8″ (3200 au) with a flared disk of mass 1.7 × 10−3M, whose expansion velocity increases very rapidly with the radius inside a central region of size ∼200 au, and then more slowly outside it, from 9.5 to 11.5 km s−1. The DUDE’s underlying density decreases radially, interspersed with local increases that represent the observationally well-characterized innermost three rings.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
Date Published:
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Medium: X Size: Article No. 59
["Article No. 59"]
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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