The Astrophysical Journal
We report on an ultraviolet spectroscopic survey of red giants observed by the Hubble Space Telescope, focusing on spectra of the Mg ii h and k lines near 2800 Å in order to study stellar chromospheric emission, winds, and astrospheric absorption. We focus on spectral types between K2 III and M5 III, a spectral type range with stars that are noncoronal, but possessing strong, chromospheric winds. We find a very tight relation between Mg ii surface flux and photospheric temperature, supporting the notion that all K2-M5 III stars are emitting at a basal flux level. Wind velocities (V w ) are generally found to decrease with spectral type, with V w decreasing from ~40 km s−1 at K2 III to ~20 km s−1 at M5 III. We find two new detections of astrospheric absorption, for σ Pup (K5 III) and γ Eri (M1 III). This absorption signature had previously only been detected for α Tau (K5 III). For the three astrospheric detections, the temperature of the wind after the termination shock (TS) correlates with V w , but is lower than predicted by the Rankine–Hugoniot shock jump conditions, consistent with the idea that red giant TSs are radiative shocks rather than simple hydrodynamic shocks. A full hydrodynamic simulation of the γ Eri astrosphere is provided to explore this further.
Wood, Brian E.; Müller, Hans-Reinhard; and Harper, Graham M., "Hubble Space Telescopeconstraints on the Winds and Astrospheres of Red Giant Stars" (2016). Open Dartmouth: Faculty Open Access Articles. 2138.