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Astron. Astrophys. 334, 1037-1046 (1998)

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On the origin of the high velocity SiO maser emission
from late-type stars

F. Herpin 1, A. Baudry 1, J. Alcolea 2 and J. Cernicharo 3

1 Observatoire de Bordeaux, BP 89, F-33270 Floirac, France
2 Observatorio Astronómico Nacional, Apartado 1143, E-28800 Alcalá de Henares, Spain
3 CSIC, IEM, Depto. Física Molecular, Serrano123, E-28006 Madrid, Spain

Received 28 October 1997 / Accepted 3 March 1998


We have undertaken toward 30 Mira or semi-regular variables and one OH/IR object highly sensitive observations of the [FORMULA] and [FORMULA] transitions of SiO simultaneously with observations of the [FORMULA] transition of CO during three observing sessions in the period 1995 to 1996. As in our previous observations of 1994, we observe that for several stars the SiO profiles exhibit unusually broad wings which sometimes exceed the terminal velocity of the expanding circumstellar envelope traced by the thermal CO emission. We have discovered a clear dependence of the SiO wing emission on the optical phase. These wings are probably due to peculiar gas motions and varying physical conditions in relation with the stellar pulsation. However, we cannot exclude other mechanisms contributing to the observed wings. In particular, SiO turbulent motions for the semi-regular variables or the asymmetric mass loss mechanism may play a role. We conclude that the SiO wing emission is due to masing processes and that this emission very likely arises from the inner part of the circumstellar envelope.

Key words: stars: late-type; circumstellar matter – masers: SiO – line: SiO, CO profiles, formation

Send offprint requests to: F. Herpin, herpin@observ.u-bordeaux.fr

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: June 2, 1998