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Astron. Astrophys. 357, 225-232 (2000)

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Observational investigation of mass loss of M supergiants * **

E. Josselin 1,2, J.A.D.L. Blommaert 3, M.A.T. Groenewegen 4, A. Omont 2 and F.L. Li 5

1 Observatorio Astronómico Nacional, IGN, Apartado 1143, 28800 Alcalá de Henares, Spain
2 Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, CNRS, 98bis Boulevard Arago, 75014 Paris, France
3 ISO Data Centre, Astrophysics Division, Space Science Department of ESA, Villafranca, P.O. Box 50727, 28080 Madrid, Spain
4 Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 1, 85740 Garching, Germany
5 Université Paris VII Denis Diderot, 2 place Jussieu, 75251 Paris Cedex 05, France

Received 14 October 1999 / Accepted 29 February 2000


We present the analysis of infrared photometry and millimeter spectroscopy of a sample of 74 late-type supergiants. These observations are particularly suitable to study the mass loss and the circumstellar envelopes of evolved massive stars. In particular, we quantify the circumstellar infrared excess, the relation of mass loss with stellar properties, using the K-[12] colour index as mass-loss indicator. We do not find any clear correlation between mass loss rate and luminosity. We also show that the K-band magnitude is a simple luminosity indicator, because of the relative constancy of the K-band bolometric correction.

Key words: stars: circumstellar matter – stars: mass-loss – stars: supergiants – infrared: stars

* Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, La Silla, Chile within program ESO 54.E-0914, and on observations collected with the IRAM 30m telescope.
** Tables A1 to A3 are only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html

Send offprint requests to: josselin@oan.es

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: May 3, 2000