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We summarize the current status of our latest generation of model atmospheres for pulsating asymptotic giant branch stars, discussing effects of non-grey radiative transfer, dust grain properties and drift between gas and dust on the atmospheric structures and wind characteristics. In addition, we give an overview of the resulting synthetic spectra and how they compare with observations.
We present ISO-SWS spectra for several representative AGB carbon stars obtained at several phases of the pulsational cycle. For stars with significant mass loss we correct the spectra for the dust emission by using DUSTY models. We then compare these corrected data to synthetic spectra based on hydrostatic and dynamical model atmospheres. We also discuss the influence of the fundamental model parameters on the resulting synthetic spectra.
We present time series of observed and synthetic ISO-SWS spectra of oxygen-rich Mira variables covering the wavelength range between 2.36 and 7.75 μm. The calculations are based on new dynamical models, which have been computed with a non-grey radiative transfer taking into account all relevant molecular opacities. It turns out that many features in the ISO spectra of cool long period variables which could not be reproduced within the framework of classical hydrostatic model atmospheres nor with grey dynamical calculations can now be understood without any additional assumptions. This is especially true for the water bands, which dominate the opacity in the infrared range of M-type Miras.
We compare in a systematic way spectrometric, photometric and mid-infrared (VLTI/MIDI) interferometric measurements with different types of model atmospheres. Self-consistent dynamic model atmospheres in particular were used to interpret in a consistent way the dynamic behavior of gas and dust. The results underline how the joint use of different kind of observations, as photometry, spectroscopy and interferometry, is essential to understand the atmospheres of pulsating C-rich AGB stars. The sample of C-rich stars discussed in this work provides crucial constraints for the atmospheric structure.
It is well established that mass loss from AGB stars due to dust driven winds cannot be arbitrarily low. We model the mass loss from carbon rich AGB stars using detailed frequency-dependent radiation hydrodynamics including dust formation. We present a study of the thresholds for the mass loss rate as a function of stellar parameters based on a subset of a larger grid of such models and compare these results to previous theoretical work. Furthermore, we demonstrate the impact of the pulsation mechanism and dust formation for the creation of a stellar wind and how it affects these thresholds and briefly discuss the consequences for stellar evolution.
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