The Luminous Blue Variable RMC 127 as Seen with ALMA and ATCA

June 2017 • 2017ApJ...841..130A

Authors • Agliozzo, C. • Trigilio, C. • Pignata, G. • Phillips, N. M. • Nikutta, R. • Leto, P. • Umana, G. • Ingallinera, A. • Buemi, C. • Bauer, F. E. • Paladini, R. • Noriega-Crespo, A. • Prieto, J. L. • Massardi, M. • Cerrigone, L.

Abstract • We present ALMA and ATCA observations of the luminous blue variable RMC 127. The radio maps show for the first time the core of the nebula and evidence that the nebula is strongly asymmetric with a Z-pattern shape. Hints of this morphology are also visible in the archival Hubble Space Telescope {{H}}α image, which overall resembles the radio emission. The emission mechanism in the outer nebula is optically thin free-free in the radio. At high frequencies, a component of point-source emission appears at the position of the star, up to the ALMA frequencies. The rising flux density distribution ({S}ν ∼ {ν }0.78+/- 0.05) of this object suggests thermal emission from the ionized stellar wind and indicates a departure from spherical symmetry with {n}e(r)\propto {r}-2. We examine different scenarios to explain this excess of thermal emission from the wind and show that this can arise from a bipolar outflow, supporting the suggestion by other authors that the stellar wind of RMC 127 is aspherical. We fit the data with two collimated ionized wind models, and we find that the mass-loss rate can be a factor of two or more smaller than in the spherical case. We also fit the photometry obtained by IR space telescopes and deduce that the mid- to far-IR emission must arise from extended, cool (∼ 80 {{K}}) dust within the outer ionized nebula. Finally, we discuss two possible scenarios for the nebular morphology: the canonical single-star expanding shell geometry and a precessing jet model assuming the presence of a companion star.


IPAC Authors


Roberta Paladini

Senior Research Scientist