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Astron. Astrophys. 322, L21-L24 (1997)

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Letter to the Editor

The extended 1.3 mm continuum emission around CW Leo

M.A.T. Groenewegen 1, W.E.C.J. van der Veen 2, B. Lefloch 3 and A. Omont 4

1 Max-Planck Institut für Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschild-Straße 1, D-85740 Garching, Germany
2 Department of Astronomy, Columbia University, 538 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027, USA
3 IRAM, Avda. Divina Pastora 7, Nucleo Central, E-18012 Granada, Spain
4 Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, CNRS, 98bis Boulevard Arago, F-75014 Paris, France

Received 11 December 1996 / Accepted 7 January 1997


We have obtained a 150 [FORMULA] [FORMULA] map of the 1.3 mm emission around the carbon star CW Leo. Emission is detected at the 3 [FORMULA] level out to a distance of [FORMULA] from the central star. From model calculations we find that the dust density distribution is described by an approximate [FORMULA] law superposed on which are possible density enhancements at about 5 and [FORMULA] distance from the star. This could imply phases of enhanced mass loss lasting up to several hundred years duration over the last few 1000 years. The major uncertainty in a quantitative analysis is in the contribution of molecular lines. The density enhancement at [FORMULA] is consistent with a recent phase of increased mass loss as inferred from CO data.

Key words: stars: carbon – circumstellar matter – stars: CW Leo – stars: mass loss – stars: AGB – radio continuum: stars

Send offprint requests to: Martin Groenewegen

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: June 5, 1998