Pulsation of M-type Mira variables with moderately different mass: Search for observable mass effects

M. J. Ireland*, M. Scholz, P. G. Tuthill, P. R. Wood

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Models of M-type Miras with masses of 1 and 1.2M⊙, i.e. with envelope masses of about 0.4 and 0.6 M⊙, have been constructed, and a comparison has been made of their observable properties. Geometric pulsation of continuum-forming layers is found to be little affected by the mass difference. The influence of molecular contamination of near-infrared continuum bandpasses upon interferometrically measured fit diameters ranges from undetectable to quite significant. Some pulsation cycles of the lower-mass model Mira show substantially stronger contamination than that found in any cycle of the higher-mass star. Observations which sample pulsation phase well and continuously are crucial for avoiding misinterpretations, because the assignment of absolute pulsation phases is inherently uncertain by at least 0.1 cycles, diameter changes may be strongly phase-dependent, and cycle-to-cycle variations may be substantial. In accord with expectations, we find that cycle-to-cycle variations that show up in light curves and in near-continuum diameters tend to be larger and more common in the low-mass models, leading to one possible way to discriminate mass. Two other methods, based on high-precision measurements of the pulsation amplitude and on derivation of pre-maximum effective temperatures from diameter measurements, are also discussed. High-layer features that may be strongly affected by mass are not well described by present dust-free models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)444-450
Number of pages7
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Stars: AGB and post-AGB
  • Stars: variables: other
  • Techniques: interferometric


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