Stellar Winds and Circumstellar Envelopes

We have developed the astrospheres technique for infering the mass-loss rate of cool main sequence stars based on the analysis of Lyman-alpha absorption produced where the stellar wind interacts with the interstellar gas. The figure on the left shows the extra absorption by hydrogen in the astrosphere of Alpha Centauri B (K1 V) compared to Proxima Centauri (dM6e), which shows that the-mass loss rate for Alpha Centauri B is much larger than for Proxima Centauri. Absorption by interstellar deuterium is seen toward both stars. Ultraviolet spectra of fluoresced molecular hydrogen in the circumstellar disks of T Tauri stars are providing new understanding of these circumstellar regions.

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