Carbon stars in the X-Shooter Spectral Library

A. Gonneau, A. Lançon, S. C. Trager, B. Aringer, M. Lyubenova, W. Nowotny, R. F. Peletier, P. Prugniel, Y. P. Chen, M. Dries, O. S. Choudhury, J. Falcón-Barroso, M. Koleva, S. Meneses-Goytia, P. Sánchez-Blázquez, A. Vazdekis

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We provide a new collection of spectra of 35 carbon stars obtained with the ESO/VLT X-Shooter instrument as part of the X-Shooter Spectral Library project. The spectra extend from 0.3 μm to 2.4 μm with a resolving power above ~8000. The sample contains stars with a broad range of (J - K) color and pulsation properties located in the Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds. We show that the distribution of spectral properties of carbon stars at a given (J - K) color becomes bimodal (in our sample) when (J - K) is larger than about 1.5. We describe the two families of spectra that emerge, characterized by the presence or absence of the absorption feature at 1.53 μm, generally associated with HCN and C2H2. This feature appears essentially only in large-amplitude variables, though not in all observations. Associated spectral signatures that we interpret as the result of veiling by circumstellar matter, indicate that the 1.53 μm feature might point to episodes of dust production in carbon-rich Miras.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA36
Number of pages26
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Early online date11 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


  • Infrared: stars
  • Stars: AGB and post-AGB
  • Stars: carbon
  • Ultraviolet: stars


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