Determining mass-accretion and jet mass-loss rates in post-asymptotic giant branch binary systems

D. Bollen*, D. Kamath, O. De Marco, H. Van Winckel, M. Wardle

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)
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    Aims. In this study we determine the morphology and mass-loss rate of jets emanating from the companion in post-Asymptotic giant branch (post-AGB) binary stars with a circumbinary disc. In doing so we also determine the mass-Accretion rates onto the companion, and investigate the source feeding the circum-companion accretion disc.

    Methods. We perform a spatio-kinematic modelling of the jet of two well-sampled post-AGB binaries, BD+46°442 and IRAS 19135+3937, by fitting the orbital phased time series of Hα spectra. Once the jet geometry, velocity, and scaled density structure are computed, we carry out radiative transfer modelling of the jet for the first four Balmer lines to determine the jet densities, thus allowing us to compute the jet mass-loss rates and mass-Accretion rates. We distinguish the origin of the accretion by comparing the computed mass-Accretion rates with theoretically estimated mass-loss rates, both from the post-AGB star and from the circumbinary disc.

    Results. The spatio-kinematic model of the jet reproduces the observed absorption feature in the Hα lines. The jets have an inner region with extremely low density in both objects. The jet model for BD+46°442 is tilted by 15° with respect to the orbital axis of the binary system. IRAS 19135+3937 has a smaller tilt of 6°. Using our radiative transfer model, we find the full 3D density structure of both jets. By combining these results, we can compute the mass-loss rates of the jets, which are of the order of 10-7 - 10-5 M yr-1. From this we estimate mass-Accretion rates onto the companion of 10-6 - 10-4 M yr-1.

    Conclusions. Based on the mass-Accretion rates found for these two objects, we conclude that the circumbinary disc is most likely the source feeding the circum-companion accretion disc. This is in agreement with the observed depletion patterns in post-AGB binaries, which is caused by re-Accretion of gas from the circumbinary disc that is under-Abundant in refractory elements. The high accretion rates from the circumbinary disc imply that the lifetime of the disc will be short. Mass transfer from the post-AGB star cannot be excluded in these systems, but it is unlikely to provide a sufficient mass-Transfer rate to sustain the observed jet mass-loss rates.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberA175
    Pages (from-to)1-16
    Number of pages16
    JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Sept 2020

    Bibliographical note

    Reproduced with permission from Astronomy & Astrophysics, Copyright ESO 2020. First published in Astronomy and Astrophysics, 641, A175, 2020, published by EDP Sciences. The original publication is available at Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • accretion, accretion disks
    • binaries: spectroscopic
    • circumstellar matter
    • ISM: jets and outflows
    • stars: AGB and post-AGB
    • stars: mass-loss


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