Water in Betelgeuse and Antares

Donald E. Jennings, Pedro V. Sada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Absorption lines of hot water have been identified in the infrared spectra of Betelgeuse (α Orionis) and Antares (α Scorpii) near 12.3 micrometers (811 to 819 wavenumbers). The water lines originate in the atmospheres of the stars, not in their circumstellar material. The spectra are similar in structure to umbral sunspot spectra. Pure rotation water lines of this type will occur throughout the spectra of cool stars at wavelengths greater than 10 micrometers. From the water spectra, the upper limit for the temperature in the line formation region in both stars is 2800 kelvin. The water column density in both stars is (3 ± 2) x 1018molecules per square centimeter, yielding an abundance relative to atomic hydrogen of n(H2O)/n(H) ≃ 10-7.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)844-847
Number of pages4
JournalScience
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 1998
Externally publishedYes

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water
stars
micrometers
cool stars
sunspots
infrared spectra
atmospheres
hydrogen
wavelengths
temperature

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

Cite this

Jennings, Donald E. ; Sada, Pedro V. / Water in Betelgeuse and Antares. In: Science. 1998 ; pp. 844-847.
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Water in Betelgeuse and Antares. / Jennings, Donald E.; Sada, Pedro V.

In: Science, 06.02.1998, p. 844-847.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Water in Betelgeuse and Antares

AU - Jennings, Donald E.

AU - Sada, Pedro V.

PY - 1998/2/6

Y1 - 1998/2/6

N2 - Absorption lines of hot water have been identified in the infrared spectra of Betelgeuse (α Orionis) and Antares (α Scorpii) near 12.3 micrometers (811 to 819 wavenumbers). The water lines originate in the atmospheres of the stars, not in their circumstellar material. The spectra are similar in structure to umbral sunspot spectra. Pure rotation water lines of this type will occur throughout the spectra of cool stars at wavelengths greater than 10 micrometers. From the water spectra, the upper limit for the temperature in the line formation region in both stars is 2800 kelvin. The water column density in both stars is (3 ± 2) x 1018molecules per square centimeter, yielding an abundance relative to atomic hydrogen of n(H2O)/n(H) ≃ 10-7.

AB - Absorption lines of hot water have been identified in the infrared spectra of Betelgeuse (α Orionis) and Antares (α Scorpii) near 12.3 micrometers (811 to 819 wavenumbers). The water lines originate in the atmospheres of the stars, not in their circumstellar material. The spectra are similar in structure to umbral sunspot spectra. Pure rotation water lines of this type will occur throughout the spectra of cool stars at wavelengths greater than 10 micrometers. From the water spectra, the upper limit for the temperature in the line formation region in both stars is 2800 kelvin. The water column density in both stars is (3 ± 2) x 1018molecules per square centimeter, yielding an abundance relative to atomic hydrogen of n(H2O)/n(H) ≃ 10-7.

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