PI: Kenneth Hinkle, NOAO, email@example.com
Address: NSSC, 950 N. Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85719, U.S.A.
CoI: Richard Joyce, NOAO
Title: Imaging the debris cloud around Sakurai's object
Abstract: Stellar evolution models predict a common but brief post-AGB episode of helium shell burning as the remnants of low mass stars enter the white dwarf sequence. Over the last century two nearly identical final flash events have been observed. The most recent and by far the best studied was of Sakurai's object=V4334 Sgr. Sakurai's object returned to AGB luminosity in 1995 and was obscured in a dust cloud of its own making by 1999. Using NIRI plus Altair we tentatively imaged the ejecta in 2010. We propose to confirm this detection. Images of the ejecta reveal the mass loss geometry and allow direct measurement of the nebular expansion. Observations of other final flash objects strongly disagree with standard predictions. Imaging the mass loss geometry and setting a distance to Sakurai from the expansion of the nebula will provide significant constraints on theory.
National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360