Nonequilibrium Chemistry in Circumstellar Shells

  • A. Goeres
  • R. Henkel
  • E. Sedlmayr
  • H.-P. Gail
Conference paper
Part of the Reviews in Modern Astronomy book series (MOD.ASTRONOMY, volume 1)


The effects of UV radiation and velocity fields on the chemistry of circumstellar shells around late type stars are investigated. A discussion of the relevant time scales shows that nonequilibrium effects have to be taken into account. In order to demonstrate these non-equilibrium effects, the detailed chemical structure of the shell of α-Ori has been calculated with the physical and chemical parameters taken from CLEGG et al.[1]. The corresponding system of rate equations is solved numerically for a spherically expanding stationary flow. The departure from chemical equilibrium and from kinetic equilibrium is studied both for the wind and the periodic conditions around α-Ori. It is found that, due to UV radiation, most chemical reactions are far from chemical equilibrium, even in the case of a pure photospheric UV field. Photo-ions determine the evolution of the local chemistry. For a constant outflow velocity of 10 km/s, the H2 concentration shows the most pronounced departure from kinetic equilibrium caused by the specific temperature-dependence of the main H2-forming reactions and by wind effects. Periodic oscillations of UV radiation and temperature cause a significant departure of the SiO concentration from kinetic equilibrium.


Dust Recombination Stein Supersaturation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Goeres
    • 1
  • R. Henkel
    • 1
  • E. Sedlmayr
    • 1
  • H.-P. Gail
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut für Astronomie und AstrophysikTechnischen Universität BerlinGermany
  2. 2.Institut für Theoretische AstrophysikUniversität HeidelbergGermany

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