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A new mass-loss rate prescription for red supergiants

Beasor, ER, Davies, B, Smith, N, van Loon, JT, Gehrz, RD and Figer, DF (2020) A new mass-loss rate prescription for red supergiants. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 492 (4). pp. 5994-6006. ISSN 0035-8711

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Evolutionary models have shown the substantial effect that strong mass-loss rates (⁠M˙s) can have on the fate of massive stars. Red supergiant (RSG) mass-loss is poorly understood theoretically, and so stellar models rely on purely empirical M˙–luminosity relations to calculate evolution. Empirical prescriptions usually scale with luminosity and effective temperature, but M˙ should also depend on the current mass and hence the surface gravity of the star, yielding more than one possible M˙ for the same position on the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram. One can solve this degeneracy by measuring M˙ for RSGs that reside in clusters, where age and initial mass (Minit) are known. In this paper we derive M˙ values and luminosities for RSGs in two clusters, NGC 2004 and RSGC1. Using newly derived Minit measurements, we combine the results with those of clusters with a range of ages and derive an Minit-dependent M˙ prescription. When comparing this new prescription to the treatment of mass-loss currently implemented in evolutionary models, we find models drastically overpredict the total mass-loss, by up to a factor of 20. Importantly, the most massive RSGs experience the largest downward revision in their mass-loss rates, drastically changing the impact of wind mass-loss on their evolution. Our results suggest that for most initial masses of RSG progenitors, quiescent mass-loss during the RSG phase is not effective at removing a significant fraction of the H-envelope prior to core-collapse, and we discuss the implications of this for stellar evolution and observations of SNe and SN progenitors.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2020 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2020 11:13
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 07:36
DOI or ID number: 10.1093/mnras/staa255
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12590
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