Goldman, SR, van Loon, JT, Gómez, JF, Green, JA, Zijlstra, AA, Nanni, A, Imai, H, Whitelock, PA, Groenewegen, MAT and Oliveira, JM (2018) A dearth of OH/IR stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 473 (3). pp. 3835-3853. ISSN 1365-2966

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We present the results of targeted observations and a survey of 1612-, 1665-, and 1667-MHz circumstellar OH maser emission from asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars and red supergiants (RSGs) in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), using the Parkes and Australia Telescope Compact Array radio telescopes. No clear OH maser emission has been detected in any of our observations targeting luminous, long-period, large-amplitude variable stars, which have been confirmed spectroscopically and photometrically to be mid- to late-M spectral type. These observations have probed 3 − 4 times deeper than any OH maser survey in the SMC. Using a bootstrapping method with LMC and Galactic OH/IR star samples and our SMC observation upper limits, we have calculated the likelihood of not detecting maser emission in any of the two sources considered to be the top maser candidates to be less than 0.05%, assuming a similar pumping mechanism as the LMC and Galactic OH/IR sources. We have performed a population comparison of the Magellanic Clouds and used Spitzer IRAC and MIPS photometry to confirm that we have observed all high luminosity SMC sources that are expected to exhibit maser emission. We suspect that, compared to the OH/IR stars in the Galaxy and LMC, the reduction in metallicity may curtail the dusty wind phase at the end of the evolution of the most massive cool stars. We also suspect that the conditions in the circumstellar envelope change beyond a simple scaling of abundances and wind speed with metallicity.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2017 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Uncontrolled Keywords: masers, stars, AGB and post-AGB, supergiants, stars, mass-loss, winds, outflows, Magellanic Clouds
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy > QB460 Astrophysics
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Chemical and Physical Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2017 14:06
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2018 14:49

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