PI: Kenneth Hinkle, NOAO, email@example.com
Address: NSSC, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, AZ 85726, USA
CoI: Richard Joyce, NOAO
Title: Imaging the debris cloud around the final flash star IRAS15154-5258
Abstract: Stellar evolution models predict a post-AGB final episode of helium shell burning as a brief yet common evolutionary process for low mass stars. This `final flash' occurs after a low mass star has ejected a planetary nebula and has started on the white dwarf track. Seven stars have been classified as 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, expanding dust envelope. We have obtained various AO high spatial resolution K band images of the ejecta around five final flash objects. The images allow the determination of the mass loss geometry. Mass is being constantly ejected from a hot star into a dusty disk. It is now accepted that these data strongly disagree with standard predictions of the final flash leaving open both the nature of the identified final flash objects and the existence of the predicted final flash stars. We propose to obtain data for one largely unstudied final flash object, IRAS 15154-5258, to provide additional insight into the nature of these objects.
National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360