We are studying a class of binary post-AGB stars that seem to be systematically surrounded by equatorial disks and slow outflows. Although the rotating dynamics had only been well identified in three cases, the study of such structures is thought to be fundamental to the understanding of the formation of nebulae around evolved stars. We present ALMA maps of 12CO and 13CO J=3-2 lines in one of these sources, IRAS08544-4431. We analyzed the data by means of nebula models, which account for the expectedly composite source and can reproduce the data. From our modeling, we estimated the main nebula parameters, including the structure and dynamics and the density and temperature distributions. We discuss the uncertainties of the derived values and, in particular, their dependence on the distance.
Our observations reveal the presence of an equatorial disk in rotation; a low-velocity outflow is also found, probably formed of gas expelled from the disk. The main characteristics of our observations and modeling of IRAS08544-4431 are similar to those of better studied objects, confirming our interpretation. The disk rotation indicates a total central mass of about 1.8 Mo, for a distance of 1100 pc. The disk is found to be relatively extended and has a typical diameter of ~ 4 10^16 cm. The total nebular mass is ~ 2 10^-2 Mo, of which ~ 90% corresponds to the disk. Assuming that the outflow is due to mass loss from the disk, we derive a disk lifetime of ~ 10000 yr. The disk angular momentum is found to be comparable to that of the binary system at present. Assuming that the disk angular momentum was transferred from the binary system, as expected, the high values of the disk angular momentum in this and other similar disks suggest that the size of the stellar orbits has significantly decreased as a consequence of disk formation.
V. Bujarrabal, A. Castro-Carrizo, H. Winckel, et. al.
Tue, 13 Feb 18
Comments: 10 pages, 7 figures, accepted by A&A