Context. FG Sge has evolved from the hot central star of the young planetary nebula Hen 1-5 to a G-K supergiant in the last 100 yr. It is one of the three born-again objects that have been identified as of yet, and they are considered to have undergone a thermal pulse in the post-asymptotic giant branch evolution. Aims. We present mid-infrared spectro-interferometric observations of FG Sge and probe its dusty environment. Methods. FG Sge was observed with MIDI at the Very Large Telescope Interferometer at baselines of 43 and 46 m between 8 and 13 μm. Results. The circumstellar dust environment of FG Sge was spatially resolved, and the Gaussian fit to the observed visibilities results in a full width at half maximum of ~10.5 mas. The observed mid-infrared visibilities and the spectral energy distribution can be fairly reproduced by optically thick (τV ≈8) spherical dust shell models consisting of amorphous carbon with an inner radius rin of ~30 R∗ (corresponding to a dust temperature of 1100 ± 100 K). The dust shell is characterized with a steep density profile proportional to r-3.5±0.5 from the inner radius rin to (5-10) × rin, beyond which it changes to r-2. The dust mass is estimated to be ~ 7 × 10-7 M⊙, which translates into an average total mass-loss rate of ~ 9 × 10-6 M⊙ yr-1 as of 2008 with a gas-to-dust ratio of 200 being adopted. In addition, the 8-13 μm spectrum obtained with MIDI with a field of view of 200 mas does not show a signature of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) emission, which is in marked contrast to the spectra taken with the Spitzer Space Telescope six and 20 months before the MIDI observations with wide slit widths of 3″6-10″. This implies that the PAH emission originates from an extended region of the optically thick dust envelope. Conclusions. The dust envelope of FG Sge is much more compact than that of the other born-again stars' Sakurai's object and V605 Aql, which might reflect the difference in the evolutionary status. The PAH emission from the extended region of the optically thick dust envelope likely originates from the material ejected before the central star became H-deficient, and it may be excited by the UV radiation from the central star escaping through gaps among dust clumps and/or the bipolar cavity of a disk-like structure.
Áreas temáticas de ASJC Scopus
- Astronomía y astrofísica
- Ciencias planetarias y espacial