The rich circumstellar chemistry of SMP LMC 11

Malek, S. E.; Cami, J. and Bernard Salas, J. (2011). The rich circumstellar chemistry of SMP LMC 11. The Astrophysical Journal, 744(1), article no. 16.



Carbon-rich evolved stars from the asymptotic giant branch to the planetary nebula phase are characterized by a rich and complex carbon chemistry in their circumstellar envelopes. A peculiar object is the preplanetary nebula SMP LMC 11, whose Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph spectrum shows remarkable and diverse molecular absorption bands. To study howthe molecular composition in this object compares to our current understanding of circumstellar carbon chemistry, we modeled this molecular absorption. We find high abundances for a number of molecules, perhaps most notably benzene. We also confirm the presence of propyne (CH3C2H) in this spectrum. Of all the cyanopolyynes, only HC3N is evident; we can detect at best a marginal presence of HCN. From comparisons to various chemical models, we can conclude that SMP LMC 11 must have an unusual circumstellar environment (a torus rather than an outflow).

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