PI: Kenneth Hinkle, NOAO, firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: NSSC, 950 N. Cherry Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA
CoI: Richard Joyce, NOAO
CoI: Thomas Lebzelter, Univ. of Vienna
Title: Luminosities for Final Flash Stars
Abstract: A brief yet common evolutionary process is a post-AGB final episode of helium shell burning. This occurs after a low mass star has ejected a planetary nebula and has started on the white dwarf track. Seven stars are now classified with varying degrees of certainty as one of these ``final flash'' objects. Two of these have actually been observed to eject a shell of gas first as a pseudo-photosphere and then as a thick dust envelope. The dust envelopes are expanding at ~100 km s^-1. We propose AO imaging of the circumstellar shells to measure changes from images recorded a decade or more ago. From these changes we will determine geometric parallaxes and hence luminosities. The luminosity will be compared to stellar evolution models. In an additional challenge to models we will calibrate the He I emission line flux and through this the mass loss rate from the fast stellar wind.
National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360